Review: Vieem, Be It Hated
Vieem, a Brooklyn, New York born singer/songwriter has a ‘flaw’ she’ll readily admit. Yep, that’s right – she lacks “real songwriting technique”. Gasp!!! The bloody horror that a singer/songwriter lacks technique! O…M…G… Perhaps a stickler for the proper way to compose or structure songs might feast upon this tremendously talented up-and-coming musician alive, but for all the nonconformists of the music industry and world, Vieem is closer to being their ‘champion’ than a failure. Vocally blessed with tremendous pipes and artistically possessing an eclectic musical appetite, screw songwriting technique as Vieem shows she can be that gem just “waiting in the wings”. On her debut album Be It Hated, Vieem takes us onto a journey that’s honest and chocked full of potential.
“Why A Reason” opens with exceptional enthusiasm, featuring a driving groove. While the groove has a ‘pop’ quality about it, it eschews the techno/dance cues and clichés of modern pop, which is a prudent move. Vocally, Vieem sounds as clear as a bell, with the best part of her vocal performance coming when she ascends into her upper register. Vieem should always exploit this beautiful, dynamic part of her range. What about the song “Why A Reason” itself? Ultimately, it has good pieces, led by a strong chorus that allows Vieem to ‘bring it home’. The rub might be “Why A Reason” could used slightly more direction structurally and reduce the duration ever so much. Still, it’s a superb introduction to the singer/songwriter.
“The Miserable Wallflower” sports a nice ‘vibe’, and once more compelling vocals from Vieem. Her tone is pure and rich; there is no doubting she can definitely blow. The added vocal harmonization during the refrain keeps things colorful and eliminates some predictability. Still, a quibble might be that “The Miserable Wallflower” literally sits a bit, coming off ever too slow or at times too static. Another nitpick regards production variance and occasionally production focus – perhaps sometimes it’s a shade too nebulous. Trivial nitpicking aside, if the ‘wallflower’ is really ‘miserable’, shouldn’t it indeed sound that way? If the answer to that rhetorical question is rightfully yes, then “The Miserable Wallflower” doing nothing short of #Winning. LOL! Overall, “The Miserable Wallflower” is well done.
“Amidst The Mist” has numerous pros working in its favor. The overall sound is a selling point. Comparatively keeping contemporary music in mind, the song has an alt-pop/rock sensibility, which makes it that much better. Vieem comfort in this alternative-driven lane comes through clearly here. As always, the vocal strength is breathtaking, with the grit she expresses serving as a cherry on top. “Amidst The Mist” is undeniably a personal favorite. BTW, the title is awesome.
“Be It Hated” once more finds Vieem shining vocally, showing off her powerhouse abilities – hey what more can you say about mad pipes yo! The pop/rock sensibility is a strong suit, with the chorus taking on a nice edge with the guitars. “Be It Hated” has little to hate about it, particularly given how rousing and energetic it is overall. As “Be It Hated” comes to a close, that energy still remains and it overall, the song leaves a lasting impression. And NO, it’s not one of ‘hatred’!
“If Only You’d Know” contrasts the rest of the affair, with Vieem comfortably delivering a pop ballad. Sure “If Only You’d Know” has some predictability about it, but the addition of drum programming during the second verse provides a propelling nudge by all means. Overall, this track is a solid; some extra fine-tuning could’ve made it even more glorious. Again, being the nitpicking, nitpicker that I am…well I’m just thoroughly nitpicking I suppose J. Be It Hated also features two more songs, opener “Totum Hole” and closer “(Homage Song) Willow And Weeds”.
All said and done, Be It Hated is a strong introduction to Vieem. Why – Because Be It Hated plays to Vieem’s artistic strengths. It shows off her incredible pipes, showcases her musical eclecticism, and perhaps most importantly for an introductory album, it shows off potential both tapped and not yet tapped. Be It Hated is not Vieem’s ‘classic’, but it is a mighty stepping-stone to arrive at that renowned and revered classic. In closing, she’s got my seal of approval.
Favorites:“Amidst The Mist”& “Be It Hated”