Album Reviews · Reviews

Album Review: Noah Kahan’s “Hurt Somebody” Explores The Pain of Life

At twenty years old, it is no surprise that Noah Kahan sings to finding himself. Although we never stop looking, your twenties begin a grander awareness that you have always been seeking a sense of self-identity. This is the era when you grow up and start to say how you want to be defined. In his new EP, Kahan’s Hurt Somebody takes a double meaning. It is about the desire we have not to hurt anyone on our journey of self-discovery, while accepting that you probably will.

Noah Kahan – Hurt Somebody

Do people change or do people grow? Both? These are the themes that swirl through Kahan’s album with chords that are delicate to the touch. Kahan’s instrumentals are light and crisp; making his guitar arrangements feel ventilated in an effort to make your soul breathe through sound. Tracks like, “Please” or “Hurt Somebody (feat Julia Michaels) show that Kahan can create a sonic backdrop that is both tender and fragile or invigorated and infused with a quiet energy. The point is he is not here to wake you up with noise as much as thoughts.Thus, it is hard to choose which thought or song is my favorite this EP.
Noah Kahan – Going Home With Noah

“Catastrophize” is definitely “the bop” of the album. It has a rolling feel that grabs listeners like a pebble running through a creek, which is not a bad image to have. Kahan’s voice is clear, even in tension, as he, like the pebble, tries to decipher if all the water/ life surrounding and coming in his way is truly a “catastrophe” or a challenge. Not every discomfort or difficulty is a tragic loss as much an added effort needed for your gain. The difference between catastrophe or challenge is vital in deciphering whether you are going to fight your life or embrace it. The argument is one that Kahan consistently has in every track but, especially in “Passenger”, which shares a radio-friendliness and insightfulness with “Catastophize”.

Kahan makes sure, like his instrumentals, to always keep his voice airy despite it being gritted in depth. Kahan can plant a note with force, but prefers to use an emotional one rather than a vocal one, which sprouts his rich tone. This helps in tracks like “Passenger” where again he tries to figure out if he is driving life or life is driving him. No matter what he confronts, career, love, friendship, and himself, Kahan’s biggest gripe is analyzing the power plays of life, which is what every twenty-something reflects upon. Thus, 2018 feels like a great year for the talented Noah Kahan. If there is one thing most Millennials have and will continue to confront its the question as to how much of your life can you control, and whether or not you want to? For More Information on Noah Kahan Click Here.

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