Album Review: boygenius // the record

Wishes. Cute fairytale animals. It’s true what they say: good things come in threes.

There’s no better example of this than the remarkable trio boygenuis. A supergroup comprising of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus; it’s no wonder the buzz around the coming together of the three marvellous musical minds has been so deafening.

the record invites the listener to experience a masterful concoction of elements. Each member’s distinct sound is heard and felt throughout the album and they blend seamlessly into each other.

The opening four songs derive from solo writing, but prove to be a brilliant introduction into each member’s distinct music style. Baker is responsible for the roaring ‘$20’, which – when the other two join in – is a delicate, emotive and thoroughly enjoyable listen. Bridgers chimes in with ‘Emily, I’m Sorry’, a slow-burning, guitar-strum heavy love song which the group’s individual vocal stylings lend extremely well to.

Ending the four tracks comes Dacus’ ‘True Blue’, an introspective look at relationships which gifts listeners with a fantastic example of the emotive feel she brings to her songwriting through lyrics like “It feels good to be known so well / I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself.” As with their solo songs, they are a trio that aren’t afraid to lay their emotions bare.

The following 8 tracks weave from soft acoustic on ‘Cool About It’, quip filled ode to friendship ‘Leonard Cohen’ to brash and almost pop-punk sounding ‘Satanist’. They don’t stick to one set sound on this album but, in doing that, the trio show their prowess extends beyond their exceptional solo work.

Whilst the soaring, guitar laden tracks are something to behold, the band shines brightest during the stripped-back moments of the record. The layering, arrangements and vocals of previous single ‘Not Strong Enough’ are gorgeous, it begins as a typical indie love song before spiralling out through the repeated lyrics “always an angel, never a god”. There’s a similar feel to the album’s emotive final track, ‘Letters to an Old Poet’, which is a soft, piano lead piece which will leave listeners with goosebumps until the final note is drawn out.

Though they could have released these tracks as their own personal records, this collaborative piece allows each member to shine individually and as part of a group. Their artistic styles might be different, but they are united in their shared ability to produce songs that are guaranteed to grab the listener’s attention and hold it until the last word is uttered.

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Author avatar
Jen Rose

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