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Album Review: boygenius’ ‘the record’ is a divine fusion of style

Most lovers of music and pop culture have heard of at least one of the three members of boygenius, whether it be Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker or Lucy Dacus. The supergroup released an EP  in 2018, and all of the individual artists have also released their own content since then, including Bridgers’ Grammy-nominated album, 'Punisher'. On Friday, the band released 'the record', a sophomore album that could not have been less of a slump. The album is a beautiful depiction of sorrow and growth that spotlights the best of each artist. 

While the accompanying instrumentals are slightly one-note, it is not to the detriment of the album’s quality. The backing guitar is ethereal and edited to contribute to the lyrical atmosphere, which is the main source of the album’s variety. The utilization of drums is especially notable, as they provide support for the other frontal aspects of the music, but are also called upon to accentuate important moments in an extremely effective way. 

The track structure of the album is also perfectly done, with an easy beginning, a rollercoaster of emotion in between, and a piercing and wound-down song at the end. The narrative they create through this organization is somehow both linear and untraceable, and it's brilliant in either case. 

The album begins with "Without You Without Them", a short number that serves as a perfect introduction to the style of the band. The song also highlights the vocal prowess of the three singers through a three-part, a cappella harmony that is beautifully emblematic of a 40s girl group. 

While most of the songs are slow and desolate, like "We're In Love" and "Letter To An Old Poet", there are also some songs that, while by no means upbeat, have a faster and more vivid mood, like "Not Strong Enough". Each song calls to mind a different emotion, laced with imagery and memories that only truly powerful music can evocate. 

One thing that each of these artists has in common is their ability to put emotion into words. The poetic and visceral way in which they write is perfectly exemplified in "Satanist", in which they utilize rhyme scheme and imagination in a brilliant and heart-wrenching way. "True Blue" is an uncomfortably real and authentic depiction of relationships, which is just one of the many personal themes that the album tackles. 

While it would be easy to say that the group handled the dark themes of the album effortlessly, it is rather the extent of their effort that makes the album so wonderful. It is apparent that each singer-songwriter had to dig deep within themselves to lay their soul bare in order to get a likewise reaction out of their listeners, a commendable feat that was unsurprisingly successful. 

While the band's indie and heartbreaking style is not universally enjoyed, there is no denying that the emotions written about in ‘the record’ are ones that anyone could relate to. ‘the record’ is about the world and the pain that comes with it. Such an important musical work could not have been so brilliantly executed by any other group of people. This album is a promising feat as to what the future of the group looks like, and is an exciting preamble to their upcoming tour. 


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