Welcome to the newest edition of Kreyolicious Music…in which…in which I review a release by a Haitian band, artist or group. Today’s edition is Degaje from the brand Harmonik. So just to make things fun, I decided to play the songs out of their intended sequence. First off was “Incroyable”.
“Incroyable” is the French word for “unbelievable”, and that song certainly lives up to its title. What a very, very lovely ballad. The track centers on a chick who’s so hot, she has the power to make men see with their ears. Say, what? Chick is bad. She gives men abilities they never knew they had. Can I go ahead and say it’s the best song on Degaje? Let me listen some more.
So “Pap Negosye’w” (You’re Non-Negotiable) rings like a stalker song. “Men Bon An”, featuring Mikaben, is like the spice you add to your punch to give it a little kick. It’s the rowdy track among a string of tame ballads.
I knew I was going to like “Fè Mwen Konfyans” (Trust Me On This) the minute I listened to the first notes. A wedding proposal in a song! Oh, goodie. My overthinking self couldn’t help but visualize a father-daughter dance at a Haiti-themed wedding in Boston somewhere. And the lyrics are gold. A guy approaches the pops of the woman he loves. His fingers and hands shake like feathers in a tropical storm wind…He assures her that she’ll be in good hands. Just in case that pop has any doubts, the narrator paints a vivid picture. He already see himself on the bridal carpet at the church, slipping the bridal ring on her finger, and baby is already on board too! I think we need more songs like these—you know where the guy assumes a positive attitude towards marriage and forever love. Too often marriage is portrayed as some sort of trap or dungeon for men in pop songs, and as something that women desperately want, but that men seem to be averse to. Glad to know that in the world of Haitian pop, marriage is portrayed (at least in this Harmonik song) as inevitable for a man who’s genuinely in love. Great vocal work by singer Sanders.
If “Fè Mwen Konfyans” conveys the apogee of relationship bliss, “Imparfait” (Far From Perfect) outlines relationship psychology. When a relationship hits rough patches, the song preaches, the blame should be laid at the door of both the man and the woman. So “Imparfait” gives “Incroyable” major competition in terms of smoothness. I think most people will readily identify with “Imparfait” because it expresses that most relationships go through moments of your-fault-not-my-fault. The band’s fans will probably turn to both songs at different times, and depending where they personally are in their relationships…”Incroyable” when things are going very smoothly, and “Imparfait” when trying moments roll in. “Imparfait” speaks of moments when things are so bad that being “dekouraje” (feeling some type of way) is inevitable, and demisyone (throwing in the towel) manifests as a viable option. Co-lead singer MacD’s voice on this track is tops. It almost reminds me of another song by this band “Mwen Bouke” (I’ve Had It Up To Here), but not quite. In “Mwen Bouke”, there was a lot more agony expressed. In “Imparfait” there is resignation about heartbreak and acceptance about relationship failure. In “Mwen Bouke”, however, there was a willingness to rebuild. By the way, about the hook on “Imparfait”…very nicely done.
This concludes PART ONE of the Harmonik Degaje album review. Watch out for PART TWO!
CLICK HERE to purchase Harmonik Degaje from on Amazon | CLICK HERE to buy Harmonik Degaje on CDBABY| Remember to leave this band and other Haitian bands four stars or better on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby, as many music lovers and music enthusiasts looking to buy/try new music, look at these reviews before buying decisions!