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WPGM Recommends: YUNGBLUD – weird! (Album Review)

Dominic Harrison is known for his high energy and flamboyant presence as his musical alter-ego Yungblud and releasing a full-length album in the middle of a pandemic has not changed that at all. In the bin-fire that is 2020, there is a light and that is in the form of Yungblud’s sophomore album weird!.

Hailing from Doncaster, Yungblud came onto the scene back in 2018 with his fist album, 21st Century Liability. It was a whimsical giddy masterpiece that didn’t stick to one genre nor did it ever get boring no matter how many times you listened to it.

It also carried some heavy messages about being young, angsty, misunderstood and that its ok to feel weird and isolated because that’s exactly how Yungblud feels. Through this album and his collaborations with the likes of MGK, Halsey and Bring Me the Horizon he has become as much a musician as a voice of a generation.

Being met with sold-out shows it was clear Yungblud was onto something big and he proves this with his follow up album weird!. It’s an incredible album filled with different themes and just as meaningful as all his work.

Whilst ditching the anger felt in the first album, he has replaced this with a much more optimistic outlook. It’s about being weird which he’s already established and being ok with that and making a change whether you end up being accepted or not.

Jumping between heartfelt anthems and punky energy this album doesn’t stick to any one genre and has not been watered down in the least. The opener “Teresa” shows you this as it’s a lighters-in-the-air kind of anthem. Yungblud celebrates his new outlook and lust for life.

As long as I watch over you, you don’t need to run,” he sings, not in his usual punky snarl but using a powerful yet honest voice which we don’t hear enough of.

The sexy track, “Cotton Candy” is an extreme credit to Yungblud. It’s a poppy banger filled with sex appeal. Its seedy with lyrics like, “we just have sex, to solve all our problems, lets do it again“. It’s really wonderful to hear Yungblud taking on new genres and making them feel like home.

He really pushes the boundaries on this album with songs like “Love Song”. It’s a stripped back track where we see Yungblud at his most vulnerable. The lyrics are emotional and are about growing up and how if you can’t love yourself how can you expect to love somebody else? It’s also optimistic however as he tells us he’s doing his best and he won’t let us down.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are songs like the Beastie Boys-esque “Superdeadfriends”. It features Yungblud screaming down the microphone almost inaudibly with a heavy bass line bringing back a 2000’s electro-punk feeling. This is the type of track that the audience is going to mosh to.

One of the real standout tracks is “Strawberry Lipstick”. This was the first single released from the album and is a pop punk track that you can’t help but head bang to. It’s such a departure from his earlier work but still somehow has a familiar feel to it.

“Charity” is another that stands out and sounds reminiscent of Blur’s “Parklife”, with its spoken word parts and exploding into a big chorus that makes it a rocky track that is a must listen.

The heart wrenching “Mars” is another slower one that has to be mentioned. It was inspired by a trans teen who wasn’t accepted by their parents, that is until they went to a Yungblud live show together.

Yungblud has a habit of taking real life experience from himself or his fans and turning them into incredible tracks, and this just shows the power of music and the kind of community he’s built through his fanbase. He’s always said his fans are his family and its more like a community than a fanbase. He’s said numerous times “If you feel like you don’t belong anywhere, that’s because you belong here, with me”.

It feels like Harrison has taken everything brilliant about his previous work and born out of that is album two weird! Its energetic, flamboyant, heartfelt and an all-around amazing album. He is the voice of a generation and lets us know its ok to be weird, different, unaccepted and that we are not alone, our standout tracks are “Strawberry Lipstick”, “Cotton Candy”, “Mars” and “Charity”.

Pick up a copy of Yungblud’s weird! album now or find it on your favourite music streaming service here, and stream it below!

Words by Louis Suffill

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