NEiKED - Best of Hard Drive

Best of the Hard Drive

If you are scratching your head thinking "how in the hell is this NEiKED's first album?" you wouldn't be alone. NEiKED has been producing music for some time now with tracks that have been in heavy rotation on my playlists for years. This is however his first full length debut. The album features mostly previously released tracks, but smashes them all together on this one album. It makes for a nice trip down memory lane, but it also feels awkward re-listening to "new" songs you heard years ago. "Lifestyle" features vocals from Husky who sounds incredibly similar to Rozes who sang the hook for the Chainsmokers breakthrough hit. The entire album flows like a laid back afternoon dance party, not as aggressive as a night out, but also not exactly "chill" music. NEiKED finds this space expertly and often giving you that warm sensation all over as the album unfolds. Nothing feels like it is forced on this record and just sort of flows out. "Friend (Demo)" feels like anything but a demo as the song bops it's way through Eyelar's gentle vocal. Later on "Une Lettre" He finds this absolutely stellar groove over a spoken word singing by Ellen Birath (all in French) that is absolutely wonderful. The song fills the air with fun and frivolity ushering in summer in the best way possible. NEiKED continues to be just make musical decisions that put the listener at ease rather than on edge. It allows you to disappear in his songs and allowing everything but the music to just fall away.

Now NEiKED does have some issues on this album. There are a few times where He tends to be a little to weird for his own good. "Been A Long Time" with lil INDO is pretty damn bad. There is this like fake rapping that lil INDO does that is so fucking annoying you might not make it out alive. The last three tracks on this record are extremely weak, leaving you with a bit of a bad taste in your mouth at the end. They feel like "producer" tracks where the producer just gets so into what production they can possibly do that they forget about finding an essence in the song. The last three tracks just kind of are there to fill out the album rather than truly make an impact. It's too bad because the front end of this album really does pop, but like with a lot of NEiKED's stuff He can't keep it up over a full record, which is maybe why this is his first official album. Lot's to like here, but maybe not a full album of likable things, but so close.

7.0 out of 10


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