The most exciting release of 2020 for me is the sophomore album “weird!” by rock and rolls newest representative YUNGLUD. With this record, we are finally seeing Mr. Dominic Harrison in full YUNGBLUD form. In this hour-long roller coaster ride no two songs are the same, we are delivered with messages of hope, optimism, and pride. We can hear through the lyrics and instruments that this album was a testament to the wild ride that Dom has been taken on over the past year and a half. He’s gotten wickedly popular, worked with some of the hottest artists in the world, fallen in love, had his heart broken, and found the people that he needed during such a weird time of life. There’s tracks on here that could easily be found on an Amy Whinehouse, Oasis, Beastie Boys, and All Time Low. Every song has something special wrapped inside of it that the listeners will surely unwrap with every listen.
Album-opener, “teresa” was inspired by the story of a girl who told Dom of her boyfriend who had passed away, the couple would go to his shows together. He wrote about how he was watching over her from the other side, relating that scenario to himself and all his fans. For all the bubble-gum pop music fans out there, listen to “cotton candy” the upbeat and sweet sounding bop with a meaning you might not expect is a serious highlight. Emotionally driven track, “mars” was the first song on the album to me tear up. Beginning more somber sounding and building to the culmination chorus at the end tells the beautifully relatable story of being accepted or not being accepted by anyone, even yourself. Possibly the most excited sounding song on the album, “superdeadfriends” is all about drugs, not saying whether to do them or not because, you can lose friends or your life if you don’t take them safely. But, if you’re going to, “be safe” he pleads in the short track. Acoustic driven ballad, “love song” is just that; a love song, focusing on him not knowing what love was until till he found his love and was all in with her and it not working out. He says for everyone, it’s about the cycle of falling in and out of love. The last song to highlight is the very last song on the album, “the freak show”. Possibly his most intricate and musically changing song of his discography is riddled with four different key changes and five time changes that turns heads. This is YUNGBLUD in song form, crazy, all over the place, passionate, scary, pretty, and inspiring. By far my favorite track on the record, all four minutes and twenty-seven seconds of the album closer is perfect.
This twelve-song hodge-podge of genre bending music is the perfect way to wrap up a less than desirable 2020. He knew we needed this, his fans needed this, and I believe he needed this. We can leave 2020 with a smile knowing that we received Dom’s very best work. May be a bold claim but, YUNGBLUD is the future of music and influence on the younger generation. He is exactly what rock and roll needed to help get itself back in the spotlight and give the underrated youth a reason to go out there and do whatever they put their minds to.