Day 40: Harlem Shakes – Technicolor Health

9 Apr

Strictly Game

The influence that certain indie music websites have over the scene as a whole is rather unfortunate.  In the case of Harlem Shakes, a negative review of their debut album by indie-powerhouse Pitchfork a couple of years ago led to the demise of this young group.  They had a ton of potential, which can be seen throughout Technicolor Health.


I guess I really like Harlem Shakes because they don’t sound like everyone else.  Yeah, they’re classified as indie rock, but they really do have a unique sound on Technicolor Health. They utilize group vocals throughout the record, something that I’m always a sucker for, bringing them in very effectively.  I noticed the percussion throughout the album, as well.  The band goes beyond the standard drum kit, something that other bands have been stuck on lately.  Everything from maracas to cowbells can be heard keeping the beat on Technicolor Health, which does add a little flavor and personality to the record.


Yeah, the album can wear at times.  Natural Man is a particularly boring song that goes on for a bit too long.  Even that track has its moments, though.  Its previously slow pace picks up for the chorus, making it a little interesting.  My point is that even on the weaker tracks of Technicolor Health, Harlem Shakes still keep me interested.


It’s really unfortunate that a single website has so much power over the indie rock scene.  With Pitchfork’s poor review of Technicolor Health, Harlem Shakes essentially had no other option but to call it quits.  The Pitchfork seal of approval was the only way that they were going to get enough listeners to make the band sustainable, as many listeners to this type of music follow Pitchfork blindly.  Ultimatly, it’s not Pitchfork’s fault.  It’s ours.  We need to learn to think for ourselves, and listen to what sounds good to us, as opposed to what got an 8.7 on Pitchfork.  Music is subjective.


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