(Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone) “Boygenius’ long-awaited debut lives up to all of the hype that its three renowned members were able to generate, and then some.”
Boygenius and their long-awaited debut album, “The Record,” has fans of this supergroup and its renowned rockstars bouncing off the walls. Pheobe Bridgers, Julian Baker and Lucy Dacus have come together once again to deliver such deeply introspective and candid narratives of love, pain and discovery through confessions, apologies and an intimacy that all three of these artists are master craftsmen in cultivating.
The three of them have a friendship that blossomed over writers, poets and shared inspirations that really gives insight into how effortlessly they are able to meld together a dainty, breathy sound with such passion and raw, dynamic intrigue.
This patriarchy smashing powerhouse put together a production crew for this album that is entirely female and endlessly gifted. Sarah Tudzin from Illuminati Hotties took role as their sound engineer, with Catherine Marks as co-production, Carla Azar from Autolux is on drums and Melina Duterte (aka Jay Som) is on bass. They even had Pulitzer Prize nominee and journalist Elif Bautman author the introductory essay as well as Oscar-nominated actress Kristen Stewart direct all their visionary music videos.
The trio meet with deep professions in their lyrics with dreamlike eccentricity that still feels personal and true to the relatability of their experiences. The album ebbs and flows with different spotlights on each of the artists while creating the most entrancing harmonies when they come together, starting in the form of the leading acapella track “Without You Without Them.” This short, sweet love-letter single gives a gentle introduction to the deep and caring relationship between these three artists who “give everything [they’ve] got” to one another and their music.
The following hits of the album serve a creator spotlight to each of the members, starting with Baker’s bold rocker piece titled “$20.” This throws the listener into the free-spirited, brazen and naive spirit within these artists with anecdotes of loving youth and reckless innocence.
The album swiftly caries into Bridgers’ “Emily I’m Sorry,” with a recognizable tone and mood to fans of her 2020 record album “Punisher.” Her soft and somber style is still a heavy hitter on feeling lost in yourself and disappointing loved ones in less-than-honorable moments.
Then Dacus picks it up and wipes tears away with “True Blue,” her rock-ballad style awakening everyone to the profound emotions of feeling loved and feeling seen in a relationship, even when it is hard. This album reminds its listeners repeatedly that love does not come without hardship: a notion beautifully expressed in words “your love is tried and true blue.”
Even more powerfully together, Boygenius writes “Not Strong Enough,” an upbeat folk-pop rhythm that expresses revelations of self-hatred and the feelings of emptiness when lacking the ability to be enough for someone. Meanwhile, the underdog fan favorite “Cool About It” softens into an acoustic folk piece on dreaded post-breakup pleasantries and pain.
These honest outpours hit home with their relatability and nuance that come with a lifetime of love; and this supergroup executes its culmination with grace and power. “The Record” shows both sides of the struggle: wanting so badly to be understood, even by yourself, and how good it feels when someone understands. Even as the independent successes they are, these struggles are all too real; but these songs as a band also show the beauty in the three of them finding solace in each other. Either through screams, headbangers or tear-jerking ballads – “The Record” has such a profound takeaway for listeners going through such raw human experience.