Reviews

boygenius “the record” Album Review

the record

boygenius

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Date: 31 Mar, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 12
  • ℗ 2023 boygenius, under exclusive license to Interscope Records

“the record” is a stunning example of what may occur when you allow yourself to be completely seen. Each of the 12 songs on the album might have easily been included on one of their individual LPs, but their work together has a bolder, brighter existence that allows them to shine both individually and collectively. Bridgers, Dacus, and Baker put in the time-consuming job of creatively and collaboratively getting to know one another before sharing what they learned with the public. We now get to gain as listeners.

Album Cover Art

Boygenius &Quot;The Record&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 24, 2024

The singing trio went with the flow for their new album cover. One of them must have come up with the random idea of them throwing their hands up in the air and taking a shot. The others must’ve thought the idea brilliant and ran with it, adding a colorful touch of sunset hue in the background.

Tracks and Features

The album’s first track, the a cappella “Without You Without Them,” anchors the project to the folk genre and pays homage to The Carter Family as well as Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. Also, it suggests that the album was created by a trio rather than a group of songs by three independent but similar musicians.

The album allows the three main performers to play to their respective creative strengths while simultaneously covering a lot of musical ground. Starting with “$20,” the next three songs serve as a showcase for those qualities. The song has powerful power chords and a reverb-drenched instrumental build. It differs from that record nonetheless thanks to an additional boost from Bridgers’ distinctive primal scream and Dacus’ booming alto vocals.

The resonant vocal melodies of “Emily I’m Sorry” make it a boygenius classic. And “True Blue,” a tribute to unconditional love, may have been a highlight of Dacus’ 2021 album Home Video if it hadn’t also served as a thesis statement for the entire boygenius project. The album’s centerpiece, “Not Strong Enough,” is a two-lane highway song with an upward bridge and climactic final chorus. The song navigates duality with complexity and elegance, acknowledging the poise and insecurity that lives within all of us at the same time.

And on “Satanist,” each member of boygenius gets a line urging the listener to participate in one of three ideologies: Satanism, anarchy, or nihilism. It’s a real head-banger and a middle finger to the idea of what a depressing playlist is supposed to be. You are not just taking in an album; rather, you are dedicating your loyalty to something that is much greater than yourself. The record also allows for sentimental moments. Bridgers makes a chivalrous pledge in “Revolution 0.”

The song holds listeners’ attention with its restraint until letting lush orchestration and soaring violins take over. It’s also the track on the album that most likely will result in tattoos dedicated to it. The Dacus-led tearjerker “We’re In Love” depicts a love story that spans numerous lives. “Letter to an Old Poet” conjures up images of boygenius standing arm-in-arm on stage behind a big proscenium, surrendering their guitars for glittering piano and swelling violins.

Album Theme

A common theme emerges as Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus alternate taking on the role of the primary character from track to track: the record is a record of enduring friendship. These are the tales you tell your pals when you’re in love or sad, when you’re feeling small or enormous. The three members of Boygenius have spent countless hours touring, and many of their songs make reference to road trips. When listening to them, you get the impression that you’re driving shotgun while focusing on the present rather than the past or the future.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Without You Without Them 1:21
2 $20 3:20
3 Emily I’m Sorry 3:34
4 True Blue 4:56
5 Cool About It 3:00
6 Not Strong Enough 3:54
7 Revolution 0 4:17
8 Leonard Cohen 1:42
9 Satanist 4:50
10 We’re In Love 4:54
11 Anti-Curse 3:18
12 Letter To An Old Poet 3:07

Production Credits

The supergroup of trio Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus & Phoebe Bridgers produced the album.

Stream

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