Faye Webster stays close to home on her third record under Secretly Canadian, titled I Know I’m Funny haha. The 23-year-old singer songwriter lofts in the same ways she’s loft before, which will surely be a treat for some. However, if you’re looking for a new side of Webster, you may want to look elsewhere.
While safe and familiar, I Know I’m Funny haha does have its perks. Many, if not all, of the tracks on this project function as perfect ambient music. The instrumentation on all of these tracks is top notch, but Webster stumbles on the lyrical front. Her quintessential whisper-loft vocals are still quite charming and are a necessity—the lyrics need a hefty dose of oomph.
The only derivative track on the entire project is “Cheers,” which was released as one of the teaser singles. “Cheers” embodies the potential Webster possesses, as she dives into and explores a more somber yet grungy, neo-psychedelic sound. It resembles “Follow the White Rabbit,” which was one of the more endearing and energized tracks from Madison Beer’s debut album from early 2021. The remaining ten tracks feel as if they’ve been tucked away in a vault for a few years, which runs contradictory to Webster’s model of writing and recording at the very moment creative genius strikes.
To be clear—derivation is not the key to becoming a great artist. Faye Webster holds true to who she is and rocks with what she’s got. Personally, I may be missing the allure of her pride and passion. It’s hard not to consider derivation, though, when she repeats “and it feels kind of tucked away” for two minutes on “Kind Of.” Another verse, please?
Webster alludes to keeping things calm and calculated on “Both All The Time,” as she reminisces about, “rereading the same book because I [she] knows how it ends.” While slightly metaphorical, suggesting that she routinely makes the same mistakes… reading a new book and trying something new might not be the worst idea. The track concludes with a seemingly meaningless laundry list of activities.
In sum, whatever message Webster is trying to express is muddled by soft-spokenness and sparse introspection. Webster’s voice undeniably sounds beautiful on every track, but fails to leave a resounding impression, dialing down ten of the eleven efforts on this project. Dialing down is not synonymous for weakening, which needs to be made clear.
Fans will rejoice, as this is tried-and-true Faye Webster. I Know I’m Funny haha will be available on all streaming platforms tomorrow.