The self-titled follow-up to Yungblud’s 2020 release Weird doesn’t feel like meeting expectations today.
The self-titled album from unapologetic rock artist Yungblud dropped on September 2 and was heavily promoted as an album that showcased Yungblud’s thoughts, emotions and experiences.
So, how did that come across throughout the album?
Overall, this album is solid. Each song blends well into the next, keeping a consistent sound and feel from start to finish. Not one song seems out of place or like it was just thrown on the album to fill time. Unfortunately, this album does not feel like a standout album or one that will blow your mind.
What is done well on Yungblud is making it sound like one cohesive album. It is organized well from start to finish. It opens on an energetic note with “The Funeral”, “Tissues” and “Memories” featuring Willow. Things slow down a bit with “Cruel Kids” and brings the energy back up with “Mad”. This is a pattern throughout the record. He balances the high energy rock songs with the slowed down emotional pieces, allowing the listener to go on a journey without getting bored.
With that being said, this album did not have many moments that completely stood out. Many of the tracks do not stand out from the rest or have “wow” moments. Most songs just blend into each other. While every track sounds fantastic and feels like a Yungblud song, that is almost the downfall. It needed moments of wow and more risk.
Part of the lack of “wow” could be attributed to the length of the album. Twelve songs long and coming in at just over 33 minutes, with over half the songs being under three minutes long, it leaves the listener wanting more. Some songs, like “Don’t Feel Like Feeling Sad Today” and “Die For A Night” seem to end just as quickly as they started. While not every song has to be four plus minutes long, some could be a bit longer to really delve deep and have the listener engrossed in the lyrics and melody.
However, like this album overall is one that deserves a listen. Similarly to previous Yungblud releases, it touches on topics like mental health, feeling alone, self-acceptance, wanting to be loved but being afraid, etc. For example “The Boy In The Black Dress” addresses acceptance and being comfortable with who you are. The title makes reference to the black dress Yungblud oftens wears onstage. This song talks about being open to showing a more feminine side and being bullied for it, while being uncomfortable with that side and wanting to push it away.
On “Don’t Go”, Yungblud talks about having trouble in a relationship. It talks about not wanting to lose the person you love, being vulnerable in a relationship, saying things you do not mean in a fight and being afraid to fall in love.
“Mad” talks about hiding yourself, your struggles and how you put on a persona and say you are fine, but going crazy and feeling like no one understands you. While this song touches on the important issue of mental health, it does so behind a dance beat. It has a nice bouncy drum beat and groovy guitar line. So, the listener may not catch the lyrics at first, but the more they listen, the more they unpack.
The instrumentals on this album were also fantastic. The guitar was roaring and rocking throughout. They had some cool and consistent lines that kept the songs moving and helped drive the vocals. The drums also had their time to shine. Especially on the “Memories” featuring Willow. That song was from the beginning and the drums really kept that song moving. The instrumentals overall helped bring the songs to life and created the contrast between the dark, emotional lyrics that covered heavy topics and the dancy, rock and groovy sound of the songs. These is seen very well on “Don’t Feel Like Feeling Sad”, which talks about to give into sad thoughts and negativity but sounds like an anthem.
“Sex Not Violence” is the song that probably stands out the most on the album. While still having a similar sound to the other tracks, it on the other hand does not sound like the rest. It has a cool keyboard intro that goes into a drum intro that makes it feel like you should be running. This balance in dynamics from the verse and chorus is interesting. The chorus goes more low and quiet and the verses feel more like where the crowd would sing along. The whole song has this jumpy feel with a killer guitar solo towards the end.
“Sex Not Violence” is the song that will be remembered from the album. The album needed a song that sounds different from the rest and break up the similar sounds of the rest of the songs, and it delivered the “wow’ moment of Yungblud.
For fans of the acoustic and slower side of Yungblud, “Sweet Heroine” is the song to check out. It is slower, with piano and minimal guitar and drums. It talks about needing love and support with open and honest lyrics. While simple, still a really well done song.
On the flip side, “I Cry 2” is a song that feels a bit disjointed. It has this electronic effect on the vocals that sound a bit weird. Most times on the album, the instrumental and vocal blend well. However, this song, the instrumental, especially the electronic elements feel a bit overpowering. It just feels a bit awkward overall. However, it does have a great line with “Everybody online says I’m not really gay/ I’ll start dating men when they go to therapy”.
Overall, “Yungblud” is a cohesive album that deserves a listen. While it may have some downfalls, it overall is a well put together album that sounds like Yungblud. It has its moments that make it shine and will keep the listener interested and engaged.
One thing is for sure: these songs will for sure go hard live, and Yungblud knows how to put on a show.
Yungblud is available on all streaming services.