Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Album Review: boygenius - the record

the record
***and1/2 out of *****

The debut full length album from the indie supergroup boygenius is simply titled the record as Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus combine effortlessly around mellow sonic structures. This collection of songs is direct and filled with details from friends and lovers as connections float in and out. 

The coming together of three strong songwriters allows for different dimensions to unfold as the light indie folk rock rolls out. Vocally Baker, Bridgers and Dacus blend beautifully throughout; no matter who sings lead the vocals are pristine and affecting. The band also brought it top notch low end with Melina Duterte (Jay Som) on bass and Carla Azar (Autolux) on drums when they want to move towards heavier sounds.

Opening with an acapella poem, "Without You Without Them", the trio coalesce around relationships, families, and the passing down of traits (and more). Those ideas float through all of the tracks that follow as relationships are examined from multiple angles.  

Two Bridger dominated tracks, "Emily I'm Sorry" and "Revolution 0" are breathy pretty folk numbers that feel like semi outliers with Dacus and Baker just joining on ethereal background vocals, Dacus' "We're In Love" falls into this same category as well. The group works better when things feel mutually written/crafted such as the light rocking "$20" that bounces with glee or the rocking riffs and groove of "The Satanist" which is the heaviest effort here that feels like a 90's grunge effort ready to burst out on the stage.    

A highlight track is the shimmering "True Blue" which rolls on a great groove from Duterte and Azar as the trio add layers of sounds and vocals, building lightly with gorgeous grace. Another standout is "Not Strong Enough" which is a folk rock catchy melody that uses synths, while lyrically playing with gender roles, hypocrisy, the patriarchy and more; it could boygenius' theme song. 

"Cool About It" pulls from a Simon and Garfunkel melody with delicate folk grace while "Leonard Cohen" both examines a relationship and cuts down the title musician with a well placed ridicule before the lightly rocking and pulsing "Anti-Curse" playfully gets down. The soft piano and strumming of "Letter to an Old Poet" is a reworking of the groups song "Me and My Dog" from their debut EP showing growth in a short time from this collection of artists.

the record works well in boygenius' folk rock ways, combing rich vocals, affecting lyrics and just enough oomph to keep the sound moving.   

Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:


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