‘the record’ from boygenius resonates with lyricism and vocal talent

the record from boygenius resonates with lyricism and vocal talent

After musical supergroup boygenius released the first four songs on their new album, “the record,” to an overwhelmingly positive response, the album became one of the indie genre’s most anticipated releases of the year. The band is made up of members Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker who first came together in 2018 to create a six song EP.

The album starts off strong and chilling with “Without You Without Them”. The song is entirely acapella and features all three members’ voices, which blend beautifully in harmony as they thank the people in their lives who helped get them to this point. Next comes “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry,” and “True Blue,” all of which had been released before the official album.

The fourth song on the album, “Cool About It,” reiterates that boygenius at their core is a group of brilliant story-tellers and lyricists. The song starts off with Baker recounting the first time she met the love interest and how much she cared about their approval and wellbeing. The following verses, sung by Bridgers and Dacus, uncover the toxicity of the relationship, highlighted with the lines, “I remember it’s impossible to pass your test/ But I’m trying to forget about it.” The instrumentals and vocal tones are soothing and sweet, and are blended masterfully in juxtaposition with heartbreaking and sorrowful words that add depth to the  story.

The following song, “Not Strong Enough,” was released March 1 (a month and a half after the original three released and a month before the album). Chaotic, upbeat energy exudes from every pore of the song as the artists reflect on their ability to show up for others while simultaneously experiencing a god-complex. The opening verse puts a poetic spin on a common occurrence, Daylight Savings, to call out their laziness and lack of responsibility. The chorus is catchy and sharp as all members come together to sing “I don’t know why I am the way I am/ Not strong enough to be your man”. In these lines, they are reflecting on their personal failures and lack of self confidence. The three then go on to sing, “There’s something in the static/ I think I’ve been having revelations,” to expand on the hope that something ‘else’ is to blame for their behavior. In a Rolling Stone interview, Bridgers commented on this concept by saying, “The two wolves inside us can be self-hatred and self-aggrandizing.”

Tracks 7 and 8, “Revolution 0” and “Leonard Cohen,” are two melancholic, vocal and soft stories of heartache. The former is said to be about an online relationship Bridgers had over the Covid-19 lockdown. This is hinted at within the lines, “Imaginary friend/ You live up in my head,” and “I don’t wanna die/ That’s a lie/ But I’m afraid to get sick.” The latter track is vocally led by Dacus, and the title is inspired by the lyrics, “Leonard Cohen once said, ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.'”

Of the remaining four songs, “Satanist,” “We’re In Love,” “Anti-Curse,” and “Letter To An Old Poet,” the one that sparks the greatest emotion in listeners is “Letter To An Old Poet.” The song is led by Bridgers as she expands upon a relationship previously introduced in the boygenius EP hit “Me and My Dog.” The melody of the two songs are similar, and many of the lyrics are direct continuations of each other, such as, “I wish I was on a spaceship/ Just me and my dog and an impossible view,” compared to the new lyric, “I’ll go up to the top of our building/ Remember my dog when I see the full moon.”

The album shows Bridgers, Dacus and Baker at their strongest, full of breathtaking vocals and a panoply of  lyrics that stay with listeners long after the record’s end.