Bakar — Nobody’s Home — Album Review
Alternative | Indie | Soul | Rock
I had been lucky enough to discover the musical project of London-born singer-songwriter Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr, known as Bakar, back in the year of 2018. This was off the back of his debut mixtape, Badkid.
I found said projet to be a really refreshing diversion away from what you would otherwise normally expect from indie-rock. And with that being said, Bakar easily sat in my mind as one of the genres modern innovators.
That innovation continued with Bakar’s 2019 debut EP, Will You Be My Yellow?. And especially with the single “Hell n Back”, which was featured on said EP, a lot of new fans started to emerge and recognise that same level of potential that emanates from this artist.
After the cult hype that Bakar seemingly had no trouble building, anticipations were certainly high for the artist to make his move on creating and releasing a studio album. I, for one, was most certainly one of those that were giddy with anticipation.
Throughout the period in which lockdown seemed to be most prevalent, Bakar managed to keep the hype-train rolling a little with a scattering of singles. This was particularly the case between late 2020 and early 2021. However, it would be in the summer of 2021 when new singles were finally beginning to herald the arrival of Bakar’s debut studio album. That album, as we now know, is titled Nobody’s Home.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that by the time the first real teaser for this new album came around, my attention and anticipation did go a little stale. But with more and more tracks consistently coming through, my excitement towards Bakar gradually grew back; just in time for the release of the full record.
On the surface, Nobody’s Home started off sounding like an album that might perhaps be a bit too mellow for its own good. With the albums opener “Noun”, the album did get off to a slow-burning start. I was initially anxious that the rawness that listeners relished when enjoying Badkid, might’ve been replaced with a refined but a more typical indie sound.
However, those worries were quickly put to rest with the following tracks. While the album’s second song, “Youthenasia” carried the soulful energy I was hoping for, there was even a lyrical nod to Bakar’s 2018 mixtape to add that little extra bit of fan service.
Following this, I would say we get what is essentially the golden point of the album. With tracks like “Reclaim!”, “GP”, and the first teaser track, “The Mission”, I was reminded most of why I enjoy Bakar and his music so much.
However, that isn’t to say that the engaging tracks outweigh the more mellow ones that my worries rest upon. I would say it is almost a 50/50 split. And while tracks like “NW3”, “Gotham”, and perhaps even “Build Me a Way” can prove that some mellow tracks can both be engaging and necessary, I feel that Nobody’s Home is still a little bit too abundant in these kinds of tracks, with some breaking my utter immersion a fair amount.
But overall, Nobody’s Home is still an incredibly solid project, with a pretty great narrative that easy to understand added in as well. Considering that this album highlights Bakar’s struggle to settle down, and the impending loneliness that comes with it, perhaps more mellow tracks is a way to go that makes sense. However, it is the more energetic and nostalgic tracks that prove to my my personal highlights on the album.
Favourite Tracks: The Mission | Reclaim! | GP
Least Favourite Track: Alone Again
Black Butter Limited