Review: Boygenius is cohesive and powerful in ‘The Record’

“The Record” by Boygenius (Interscope)

The internet’s favorite indie girls welcome you into the brilliant, colorful world of Boygenius, again.

The supergroup, consisting of best friends Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, formed and released their critically well-received self-titled EP in 2018. Five years later, the powerhouse women of Boygenius masterfully recapture the same magic in their first full-length album, “The Record.”

Cohesion within the group sneaks up on you like a shadow in the night. The album is soft, brutal and a reflection of a cruel, unrelenting world full of fatalistic imagery, but the love they’ve discovered in each other and in the music they craft together saves and reignites them.

Album single “Emily I’m Sorry,” dives into Bridgers’ perspective on a past relationship, apologizing for all the wrongdoing she inflicted on Emily. Dacus and Baker seamlessly harmonize with Bridgers as she sings anxiously, “I’m 27 and I don’t know who I am (Don’t know who I am)/But I know what I want.”

“Not Strong Enough” is an uptempo, guitar-heavy, folksy song focused on self-hatred and loathing where Baker’s softness shines. She croons contemplating death: “Drag racing through the canyon/Singing ‘Boys Don’t Cry’/Do you see us getting scraped up off the pavement?”

Standout “Revolution 0” wistfully tells the story of falling in love on the internet, Bridgers said in a Rolling Stone interview. Some speculate that the song is an examination of the breakup between Bridgers and actor Paul Mescal, her former fiancé. “If it isn’t love/Then what the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) is it?/I guess just let me pretend,” she whispers sorrowfully with backing from the rest of Boygenius.

An ultimate rock jam riddled with electric guitar and drums, the witty “Satanist” forces the group to ponder philosophical questions and if they’re deal breakers. Dacus asks confidently, “Will you be a nihilist with me?/If nothing matters/That’s a relief to me.”

“Letters To An Old Poet” is an exemplary closing piano ballad with beautiful production, breathing life throughout the three minutes. Bridgers sings, “You think you’re a good person because you don’t punch me in the stomach.” Dacus and Baker join her in support when she sings she wants to be happy.

During the journey into “The Record,” Baker, Dacus and Bridgers bare truths from the deepest parts of themselves, but there’s strength in their togetherness – their truths are a little less formidable when they join as one.


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