Shamir - Ratchet
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2015 Ratings: #255 / 891
Year End Rank: #33
User Score
Based on 237 ratings
2015 Ratings: #320
Liked by 1 person
May 19, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
XL / Label
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It’s an incredible album strewn with highlights obvious and sneaky, the rare debut that holds up the weight of its backstory, with the added brassiness of assuring us that’s just him on the regular.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Ratchet is one of the most purely pleasurable records I’ve heard so far this year, and one of the strongest debuts in several years.


On Ratchet, an honest, earnest pop record, Shamir elaborates on the gutsy melodies of those early demos and singles and makes good on the hype.

Pretty Much Amazing

Its highs are high enough that its lows can be forgiven, or forgotten entirely. Ratchet consolidates Shamir's many talents: the sassy lyricist, the virtuosic tunesmith, the unperturbed diva. Those talents are singular, and they’re sure to flourish on future releases.

This combination of pop and disco makes ‘Ratchet’ the perfect summer soundtrack. Sometimes you’ve got to party like it’s 1989.
The Line of Best Fit

Chin up, eyes out, Shamir looks ever outward on Ratchet, staking his claim as the foremost purveyor of future pop for future people.

In a year that’s seen the heavyweights of the industry fannying about with abstract release plans and bickering over streaming services, Shamir has swept through and delivered a record that schools every one of them in the art of purest pop.

Ratchet is a fully realized, entertaining portrait of an artist who knows where he's from and where he's going.

The 405

Ratchet is instantly likeable and oh so infectious. A great pop album through and through, there's enough here to keep you dancing all through the summer.


Shamir might not be the most conventional of vocalists, and Ratchet might not be the perfect pop record “On the Regular” hinted it could have been, but this is still one of the most dazzling debuts of 2015.

Slant Magazine

His winking in-jokes and one-liners might have gotten the Internet's attention, but Ratchet wins you over when it reveals that this smart-aleck's got a beating heart too.

It's hard to tell when he's joking, but impossible not to take him seriously.

Dark, frenetic, and complicated, Ratchet is so thrilling because of its refusal to settle down.

NOW Magazine

He projects a charismatic mix of youthful playfulness, cheeky confidence and naked vulnerability that would seem wasted on fun dance pop except that he does it so perfectly.


While Ratchet is unlikely to generate seismic shifts in the modern musical landscape, its ambitions were clearly never that lofty, and as an album it is exactly what it set out to be – an interesting, eccentric collection of pop songs encompassing a grab bag of styles and emotions.


One gets the sense that Ratchet is just the beginning of a career that could go in any direction Shamir wanted.

Under The Radar

The Las Vegas native's debut LP is a luminously cool engineering of synths and beats that will no doubt furnish the dancefloors of hipster hangouts across the globe.

Consequence of Sound
Sure, it might get messy changing from sassy to sweet to sad as if constant mood swings are the norm. But only through these shifts do you understand Shamir as the giant spice rack of emotions and ideas that he is.
Loud and Quiet
While ‘Ratchet’ isn’t the immaculate conception of a fully formed artist, it does demonstrate that its creator knows his shit.
Rolling Stone
Las Vegas newcomer Shamir works disco into a state of undress on his first full-length album.
The music scene in Las Vegas isn’t exactly a young persons game these days. Full of lengthy stands by artists of yesteryear, (and varying degrees of talent), the most prominent act to emerge from Sin City in the last decade is Imagine Dragons, and the less said about them, the better. That’s part of why it’s beyond refreshing to see a fully formed talent come out of the gate with such a headstrong debut as a solo act from any genre. Shamir Bailey’s album is bursting with ... read more
Shamir had some hot singles for this album, but in the end, that was it. The steamy, colorful and groovy beats of the first half of the album are not enough to carry Ratchet as a whole experience. The second half contains some really disappointing and emotionless songs that are brought down by his bad vocal performances (Demon, Darker), and even though the bubbly synth-led beats of tracks like Make a Scene or Call it Off stand out, there is not much that makes a return to this debut worth.
This is a fantastic debut pop album. Shamir showcases his talents in not only singing but rapping. I do feel that Shamir could've been a little more ambitious for this album. Nonetheless, this is a great way to commence your career.
Light like a breeze
was expecting more
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Added on: March 5, 2015