“Crazy” from Juliana Hale will have your head spinning. This earworm, which features rapper Derek Minor, is a tightly-wound pop/R&B hit from start-to-finish. Hale’s commanding voice, emotive enough to feel as though this listener is just as rousing as she is, echoes the same female empowerment as what we’re hearing from artists like Pink, Christina Aguillera and more. Where Halsey might be a bit more ‘pop sounding’, Hale fills the gap with her broodier tones and edgier vibe. The accompanying music video to “Crazy” is proof that this song will be spinning in your head for days.
Hale’s voice has this aura of finality to it. Something about her range calls to mind the audacity of Cher, the growl of Aguilera and the finesse of Tina Turner. This song has all the makings of a great pop tune – a driving beat, and Hales’ unstoppable, catchy hook. I thought Minor’s entrance, coming in a bit later than I anticipated, embellished the song in the vein of “Dark Horse” from Katie Perry and Juicy J. Minor’s role is well, short and sweet. I thought we might hear a bit more from him, but I liked that the scales favored more of Hales’ vocals. She’s so easy to ease into – the feeling of comfort and a familiar friend connects immediately. Hale is a romantic, too, and that frustration she’s communicating is tangible. Still, the pairing of their voices makes great sense and Minor does make his mark.
This song makes you feel like it’s Hale’s open-diary. Her voice is giving, and enthralling. The tempo is middle range – the undercurrent not too rough that you’re breaking a sweat, but pushy enough to feel like your shoulders are bouncing. I liken this song to a Friday evening jam – it’s the first inning, if you will, to the weekend party. You have that other person running laps in your head and you want so badly to forget all the bad stuff of the relationship that is driving you up the wall, but you just can’t let it go. Then, by Monday morning, you’re still stuck on that merry-go-round of wanting to be free of that person’s bad habits or toxicity – only to find yourself doing the exact same things. I think Hale nails that anxiety and frustration.
The bold music video plays up the sensual tension. I thought it was perfect imagery to have Hale on a spinning carnival game target. LED lights, lines and fish-eye-lens views, has the viewer quickly immersed into the riveting perspective. It’s both a claustrophobic and nocturnal vibe. The video is directed by Robby Starbuck. I liked the setting – a warehouse, as if the feelings were boxed in and she couldn’t get out.
Hale is based in Nashville, Tennessee. I love the character in her voice, the depth she presents as a singer. She’s also a working actress – appearing in a movie later this year. From her work in her own music video, it’s evident the camera has found its star. Hale is fantastic and she’s definitely going on my radar. “Crazy” is a surefire hit.
- written by Matthew Rowe