Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight
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Hanni El Khatib’s first album goes back to 2011 with Will The Guns Come Out, a mixture of blues and garage rock, nervy and splendid, covering with success Elvis and Funkadelic on the same record, without lasting longer than 35 minutes – which was clearly enough to have you breathless. Starting to be successful, Hanni started to collaborate with blues guru Dan Auerbach (from the Black Keys). Dan made Hanni’s sound a lot softer and less dirty on a second LP, much calmer and more detailed, but which kind of lost a bit the first one’s spicy taste: this feeling that he needed to get things done quickly disappeared a bit. He liked to play hard, fast and not for very long (that’s what she said).
What about this new album then? It is in the previous one style: smoothed, neat, with even more groove (“Two Brothers” is great as a final track, with its violins and its big, funky bass) and with more sonic experimentations (“Home”, “Dancehall”). However it is still a bit disappointing. The early sound of Hanni has completely disappeared, I guess I’ll have to move on. To try to be strictly neutral and put aside my admiration for his first album, Moonlight is still very nice to listen to and definitely has strong selling points (take “Melt Me”, “Worship Song (No.2)” or “Mexico” for instance). There’s still some energy left, and there’s a darker feeling which makes this album attractive. Innovative Leisure (which is Allah-Las and Nick Waterhouse label, but also Bass Drum of Death, Nosaj and Tropics, among others), proves once more that they have good albums in stock, and they start 2015 on quite a strong note!
- Melt Me, Worship Song (No. 2), Mexico, Two Brothers