Karmin – Pulses Review

1. “Geronimo Intro”   The opening track, though short, excellently demonstrates that Karmin is a duo, as is the misconception of a lot of listeners. The track is acapella and showcases both Amy and Nick’s vocals. An excellent start to the album.

2. “Pulses”
The official third single and title track shows Karmin’s better qualities. It is the first single for which Nick sings leading vocals rather than back-up. Amy demonstrates her jaw-dropping rapping skills. I personally would not have picked it as the third single, but it is one of the most original sounding tracks on the album.

3. “Acapella”
This first single is excellent. The metaphorical lyrics, spit fire rapping, and the excellent acapella-like production just screams Karmin. Though not completely acapella, as the song uses a drum machine, the song and video are tastefully comical.

4. “I Want It All”
The song is pop gold and was an excellent choice for a second single. The song has a disco vibe and Amy’s vocals are magical, proving that she can sing just as well as she can rap. Written by Ester Dean, Amy, and Nick, this track is definitely a smash even though it is their first single without Amy rapping in it.
5. “Night Like This”   The album is still soars by the fourth song into the album. This breezy, guitar filled, party jam will be on repeat all summer long. The song features Amy rapping and Nick singing the pre-chorus, continuing the streak of songs that prove Karmin is a duo.

6. “Neon Love”   This is where the album starts to go downhill. This cliché, metaphor filled, breakup song is extremely boring and unoriginal due to it sounding like every breakup ballad ever made.

7. “Drifter”   The album picks up again with “Drifter,” an island vibe meets dubstep song which features Amy doing her signature rapping/singing. Though in the bridge it sounds like a featured artist is rapping, it really is Amy with her vocal pitch altered.

8. “Tidal Wave”   Though it’s nice to see Karmin prove that they are more than a happy-go-lucky duo (“Brokenhearted” had dark lyrics masked with poppy production), they seem to fall flat with slow, dark songs like “Tidal Wave.”

9. “Gasoline”
This reggae track should have been included on Hello, as it better fits as an introduction to who Karmin is, rather than being on the album that is trying to prove what Karmin can do.

10. “Puppet”   This track is about love with a double entendre about the music industry. Though lyrically amusing, the album could’ve lived without it. They song contains more random noises than it does lyrical content.

11. “Hate To Love You”   This is so sugary pop, it’s delicious. Reminiscent of “Brokenhearted,” this song is about Amy and Nick’s relationship and the track brings the album back to being good with it’s upbeat yet somewhat dark lyrics.

12. “Try Me On”   Chances are you’ve heard this song, though you probably didn’t know the title or that it was by Karmin. It was featured in Dasani’s ads for Dasani Drops. The song is catchy and has a nostalgic, 50’s radio like intro.

13. “What’s In It for Me”   An excellent way to close out the album, this track goes hard with it’s pulsating beats and catchy production. This track could definitely survive as a single with it’s extremely memorbale beat and lyrics.

Overall, Pulses is a great pop album, but not a great Karmin album, as it is too formulaic to standard pop. Karmin is none for originality and they fail when they try too hard to be unoriginal, as they are with their ballads. This album would have been better if it hadn’t taken two years to make. I’m a big fan of Karmin, and I hope they can make a second album that  will not only be a great pop album but prove that they belong in this industry, cause Pulses is basically stating that we can do what everyone else can do.