Wednesday, September 14, 2022

YUNGBLUD embraces the role of the outcast on new self-titled album

Dominic Harrison, also known as YUNGBLUD, has released his highly anticipated self-titled third studio album. Having given fans a hint of what was to come with singles such as 'The Funeral' and 'Don't Feel Like Feeling Sad Today', the album is a stark departure from 2020 release 'Weird'

The 25-year-old, Yorkshire-born artist seems to be returning to his roots with an album that combines the grungy sounds reminiscent of his first EP contrasted with catchy collaborations, as well as poignant songs that highlight a truly vulnerable side that perhaps fans are not used to.

The album opens with the first single 'The Funeral', a catchy song focusing on ideas surrounding self-depreciation and finding a sense of acceptance in not being liked with the lyrics stating, "And I hate myself but that's alright." The upbeat rhythm establishes a brilliant opening to the album, with the contrasting lyrics paving a path that is present throughout the entirety of the album, expressing an honest and open articulation of the musicians’ feelings.

The recently released single 'Don't Feel Like Feeling Sad Today’ is one of the most upbeat songs on the album with the positive message displayed in the title mirrored throughout the song. Accompanied by an optimistic music video featuring many of his fans, the visual highlights the role YUNGBLUD'S fans play within the context of the album as well as his career in a broader sense.

While the entire album is a departure from what fans are used to, there are a few stand-out songs on the album that must be mentioned. Firstly, 'Memories' featuring WILLOW is a display of two incredibly talented musicians bringing an interesting sound to the forefront with this collaboration, encapsulating the best of both artists. 

Arguably the most poignant track on the album is also the shortest - 'Die For A Night' pushes forward the stark question of "I always wonder what it would be like if I could die for a night." Despite the length, it discusses the real-life implications of hurtful language with the lyrics "Pain is a language I can read." 

The stand-out closing song on the album titled 'The Boy In The Black Dress' is an honest articulation of the damaging effects of toxic masculinity and encourages the freedom of expression that YUNGBLUD has consistently stood for throughout his career. Throughout the album, Harrison references criticism that he has faced in his career regarding issues surrounding his sexuality, even choosing to end the album with the emotional line "How I wish that I forgot that the boy in the black dress is me." 

Overall, the album feels like a truly strong addition to the musician's ever-growing discography. YUNGBLUD can be epitomized as someone who has, despite criticism, introduced an original and new sound to the surging popularity of alternative music - something the artist has helped to bring back into the spotlight through his music and collaborations with mainstream artists.

'YUNGBLUD' was released on September 2nd. In support of the album's release, YUNGBLUD will perform a series of shows this year before embarking on a UK arena tour in early 2023 supported by Neck Deep.

Georgia Aldcroft

Image: ‘YUNGBLUD’ Official Album Cover

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