Nashville’s Juliana Hale continues to balance life and relationships in the relatable jam “Crazy” featuring rapper Derek Minor. Painting a picture of trying to ‘do it all’, Hale exudes confidence despite the lyrics that suggest otherwise. Minor, a slick emcee with rapid-fire delivery, casts a sharp moment in this R&B gem. Combined with a mesmerizing hook and a wicked music bedrock, “Crazy” is a delicious ride. Hale’s seductive voice just happens to be the icing on the cake.
“Crazy” starts out like it might just be an organic, or even acoustic track. It flows quickly into a groove with rhythmic dark purples and flashy blues. Hale sings as though she’s coming off a busy week, spinning several different places and projects at once. Still, she has the confidence of someone checking several things off her lists and warning any potential suitors that she may have a lot going on in her life, but she can handle it all. It just drives her a little bit crazy at times. In the song’s music video, she’s wearing striped clothing, as if she wants her life to be in a vertical order. The colors of her suit are black and white. It’s a complete juxtaposition to the spinning ride she’s on – red and black blocks. The visual component, like Hale’s voice, is a stunning display of artistry and authenticity.
Hale’s delivery is edgy and a bit tough. I wouldn’t say that she’s gangster, but she’s not the girl next door. The tenor in her voice is strong. The movement of the song felt like a story unto itself – with that creamy beginning only to move into a bit of a sinister sound. I loved it. The music just snakes its way through her voice. It made me feel like I was part of the sonic journey of realizing that you can’t do it all. That this song is an anthem that you can’t be everything to everyone. You have to set your boundaries. When Minor comes into the picture, he’s quick. I liked the balance and the different dimension his flow brought to the song. It shakes it up and in a unique way, I thought he might represent another voice in her head telling her to trust her gut.
If you’re expecting a different version of Brittney Spears’ “(You Drive Me) Crazy” then you will be audaciously surprised. Hale’s “Crazy” is far superior and engaging. It has several onion layers to explore and sift through – as a listener, I loved experiencing those different avenues. I also appreciate that she’s based in Nashville and expanding Music City’s reach beyond the country genre. The verdict? “Crazy” is this year’s must-listen. Hale is an exciting, burgeoning artist with a relatable life perspective. For anyone trying to do it all and listening to the various people in their life on ‘what they should do’ this is a great tune. I realize the irony in that, as I write urging you to listen. Believe me, Hale makes it sound so much better.