Yungblud – YUNGBLUD (Album Review)

yungblud self titled album

Yungblud – Yungblud 
Released: September 2, 2022

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It never ceases to amaze me when Yungblud releases new music, and this is no exception. Back again with another full-length record, the British rockstar has laid his heart on the line for all to hear with a self-titled album, and to be brutally honest I never really understand why artists bring out records that are self-titled because it seems a little bit pointless and overdone — but not this time. This time it makes sense. From start to finish, this is something that you can tell is deeply personal, to the point that naming it anything else would be an injustice. Bold statement, I’m aware, but continue on to see why I stick by it and believe that it is completely justified. 

Opening up the record is ‘The Funeral‘, which was the first single to be released back in March this year and I’m going to be so real here, it is such a catchy song to the point that no matter how many times I listen to it, whether it be when it was first released, or this morning, it will still be in my head a week from now. I won’t touch too much on this as it has been out for quite some time now and I have so many more thoughts to share, but I will however tell you about the next track which is the most recent single that has been put forward, ‘Tissues‘. I really find this to be such a well-written song as it tells a story without any kind of deep thought process, and I know that previously, Yungblud has released some tracks that really make you think and almost need to sit with it and process everything before completely understanding and realising the story that is being told, but this is just a well put together, fun, upbeat tune that boasts about how everybody wants to be in love, as well as falling in love and the concerns everyone has when love strikes — being left behind when things end. There is something about this poppy, upbeat tune that marries so perfectly with what is being sung.

Memories‘ flows on to keep the energy nice and high, and this has also been released for quite some time now as it was put out as a single with the collaboration of Willow, and let me tell you, those are two vocalists that work seamlessly together. There is a certain grit in both vocals that are similar yet so different that I would actually love it if they teamed up together once more for another track. Just after, this is where the record takes a little bit of a shift into the real guts of why I originally said that calling this album anything else aside self-titled would be an injustice — and it is one of my favourite songs from this new album. It’s titled ‘Cruel Kids‘ and it is one that kept me coming back and listening over and over again. It is just so beautiful, telling a story of something that pretty much all of us can relate to — not wanting to like what all the cruel kids do because in the end, it’s all just smoke and mirrors in an attempt to fit in and how depressing and isolating it can feel if you’re any form of outsider. No matter how many times I have listened to this, as I play the track, I can always hear cruel being sung as cool and I think it really just adds to the meaning behind it. 

Mad‘ is next up and it’s not really my favourite track on the record if I’m honest. I really enjoy the verses as I feel like it’s such an insight into Dom’s raw feelings, but the chorus is just a bit too repetitive for my liking. There is something about the beat being a soft intro and then just almost a really simple, repeated drum and guitar combination that I just can’t really get into. The end beat has a short clip of a voicemail, I believe, saying “you’re doing well”. If I’m really honest, I actually don’t understand why it’s included, it is so short and maybe one second in length, if that. I just don’t think it adds anything aside from maybe a little bit of confusion.

Following along with this similar train of thought is another track that I am quite conflicted on — ‘I Cry‘. While I think it is extremely beautiful in terms of the lyrics, or at least the ones I can figure out — because, let’s be real, sometimes reading the lyrics when listening to a song really helps unjumble the misheard words. I feel as though it’s a track where the storytelling portion that I keep mentioning is just a little unclear for me and the reason this is such a big thing as I review this record is because I have heard Yungblud say previously that this self-titled record is his heart laid out and it is him to the core. While there are some tracks that I can listen to and immediately identify what I believe is almost a torn-out page of his diary being shared with the world, this isn’t one of them. I don’t know that I love the beat that is behind this either, and I know that every time I listen to this song, my heart absolutely wants to love everything about it, but there is a part of me that just really is not connecting and not understanding which is a shame. I go back time and time again to listen to it, hoping I’m going to have that lightbulb moment and it’s all going to fall into place, but after having listened to this album on repeat for a week — I still haven’t had that moment that I’m searching for, though I know in my gut that there is something so special about this song that I feel like I NEED to know more about. 

Sex Not Violence‘ is another of my absolute favourite tracks that I want to talk about. Immediately the beat feels as though it has a heavy 80s inspiration behind it as it starts with this synth/keyboard intro and it continues in the background the whole time, which really just feels like it’s one of those upbeat cheerful 80s pop songs that almost reminds me of similar sounds from the Stranger Things score. Then the guitar gets added and it turns into this perfect marriage of music that I’m going to refer to as retro rock. Now this one is also one of my absolute favourite tracks. I feel like it is such a different sound than I was ever expecting to hear, but it is something I would love to hear a lot more of, and when it comes to the lyrical content, it blows my mind. I know that Yungblud is not one to shy away from both social and political topics, but he has this absolutely eloquent way of doing it so that it is understood but not in your face and I think this is a perfect example of it — or at least from my personal understanding. I’m interested to see if other people may pick up on this once everyone has heard it. This has definitely been a track that I have played nonstop and sung so loud along to, and I feel like when this is played on tour, the entire room will turn into a retro rock dance party. 

By this point I have talked so much that I’m sure you thought I’d really spoil the whole record in this review. Let’s be honest, isn’t that what my job is, to entice you with insider information? Well, yes, but what would a review be without teasing you!

There is so much more I could reveal, more tracks to talk about — but all good things come to those who wait and if you just hold on a few days more, you will get to experience the beauty of this record. With lyrics that are quite packed with emotion, some being really quite heavy and raw, but honest. It’s an artist who is putting themselves out there and being extremely transparent with the world. In my eyes, this speaks volumes to the confidence in not only the artistic ability of the lyricism, but how people who truly love not only Yungblud, but powerful and sometimes really thought-provoking music will receive it. I know that personally, the minute I had my hot hands on this, I was filled with nothing but pure excitement and I do not feel that I was at all disappointed. 

Throughout this entire album, the thing I notice the most is that it really is far different than any other release I have seen from Yungblud as it is slightly more mellow than other albums in the sense that previously there has been quite a bit of intense, high energy, danceable music. While I definitely feel that this is still very much high energy in some areas, I don’t feel that it is there the entire way through, as there are some heavier topics raised. As an album that is Self-titled, the stories have almost a defined beginning, middle and an end. As I have mentioned a few times throughout, I really feel as though having this be anything else besides a Self-titled album would be an absolute injustice. 

This is a young artist who is so self-aware, has the widest variety of musical inspirations from which they are drawn and who never conforms to any kind of genre and nothing will ever sound the same. I guarantee that no matter who you are, there is probably something on this opus for you that you will enjoy. I highly recommend this album and I genuinely can’t wait to share it with my own friends when it’s released. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell by this stage, I’m definitely rating this album a solid 8/10.

yungblud self titled album

Yungblud – Yungblud tracklisting:

  1. The Funeral
  2. Tissues
  3. Memories
  4. Cruel Kids
  5. Mad
  6. I Cry
  7. Sweet Heroine
  8. Sex Not Violence
  9. Don’t Go
  10. Don’t Feel Like Feeling Sad Today
  11. Die For A Night
  12. The Boy In The Black Dress
  13. The Emperor

Rating: 8/10
Yungblud is out September 2 via Universal Music. Pre-order/save here
Written by Heather McNab

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