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Boygenius’ new album “The Record” celebrates friendship


“The Record”’ by boygenius came out March 30 and has already landed a score of 90 on Metascore. Rolling Stone has established a perfect score on the album, and Pitchfork, another music news giant, has scored the album at an 82. This puts the album at a #3 rating for best album of 2023 according to Metacritic. With big scores like this, I reviewed the albums and discussed my favorite tracks on the album.

The album’s consistent theme focuses on the close friendship of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. The opening of “The Record” begins with the group singing a capella that sounds similar to a hymn. “Without You Without Them” has each member singing a sentiment of sharing their story with the other and sending gratitude to their parents for giving them a friend. Each voice blends into one another for perfect harmonies and starts the album off on a positive foot. 

“$20” has Julien Baker at the forefront of most of the vocals and starts off with loud instrumentals that hardly slow down. Baker described this song to Rolling Stones as a “wanting-to-poke-the-bear impulse” and “discontent with your life.” On the outro, Baker tones down her vocals along with the drums and guitar to begin a slow build-up. By the end of the song, everything is at full volume, and Bridgers takes you out with one final scream asking the listeners for $20. 

“Letter To An Old Poet” closes off the album with Bridgers quietly singing over a slow piano and Dacus and Baker harmonizing in the background. This song holds a special place in my heart, and I am sure many other fans, as it is a callback to a song from boygenius’s self-titled EP called “Me & My Dog.” “Letter To An Old Poet” is the hopeful version of the original song. The EP’s lyrics were “I wanna be emaciated/ I wanna hear one song without thinking of you” and transformed into an expected resolution in this album with the lyrics “I wanna be happy/I’m ready to walk into my room without lookin’ for you.” With melancholy singing, strings and lyrics, this song left me feeling dejected, but the sadness felt like leaving a party that I never wanted to end.

While I do sit on the side of this album being nearly perfect, my only negative point about the product is the various different avenues each song takes. Each member of the band is a solo artist and even though they all are considered to be a part of the indie genre, they were able to make individual careers due to their uniqueness in the industry. Sometimes there is a lack of cohesiveness across “The Record”.

Not every song will flow naturally in this album, but each song is a hit in its own right. Baker, Bridgers and Dacus have created a masterpiece that represents a tight bond between three friends and bandmates. I would rate this album five out of five Lopers.

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JILL SMITH, Reporter
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