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boygenius makes a reintroduction with ‘the record’

Album Review

The debut album from alternative supergroup boygenius, "the record," is, "a portrait of vulnerability, relationships and coming-of-age," according to Staff Writer Chloe Southard.
The debut album from alternative supergroup boygenius, "the record," is, "a portrait of vulnerability, relationships and coming-of-age," according to Staff Writer Chloe Southard.

Indie supergroup boygenius has finally returned after five years.

The group, composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, dropped its self-titled EP in 2018. Each artist has a dedicated following, and the creation of boygenius allowed their fan bases to come together.

boygenius’s EP became beloved by fans — but it was just six tracks long, which only made fans want more from the trio.

On Jan. 18, boygenius made an exciting announcement: They’d be releasing their debut album. Simply titled “the record,” it dropped on March 31. 

“the record” is a portrait of vulnerability, relationships and coming-of-age, with the three core voices melding together and intertwining in the most perfect ways.

“Without You Without Them” opens the album. It’s a short, raw acapella track in which the trio questions who they’d be without the people in their lives who came before them. boygenius wants to influence those around them, just as their past generations influenced them.

Baker takes the lead on “$20,” which was originally released as a single. The track has a more grungy, punky feel compared to the rest of the album. It captures adolescent angst in the best way, with Bridgers screaming and requesting 20 bucks as the song ends.

@folklorescherry her voice is insane actually. AND LETS TALK AB THE RECORD 10/10 I LOVE IT . #boygenius #phoebebridgers #lucydacus #julienbaker #fyp #therecord ♬ original sound - addy?

I love a good Bridgers scream, so this track immediately became one of my favorites.

“Emily I’m Sorry” was also released as a single; this time, it’s a Bridgers-led track. In true fashion, the track is somber and vulnerable as Bridgers sings, “I'm 27, and I don't know who I am.”

Next up is “True Blue,” yet another single. This time, Dacus leads the trio as they sing of a tough-love kind of relationship, but the love also seems unconditional.

This song also has some of the best sets of lines, such as, “You say you're a winter bitch / But summer's in your blood,” and “When you don't know who you are / You fuck around and find out.”

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“Cool About It” is possibly one of the most heart wrenching tracks on “the record.” Over an acoustic guitar, the group takes turns in singing about a failing relationship. I really liked the way this track was set up — it feels as if it’s been split into three different acts.

“Not Strong Enough,” the album’s fourth single, takes a more rock sound. It’s a commentary on gender inequality, as boygenius uses metaphors about angels and gods to portray the excessive praise men receive.

boygenius was created partially due to the trio’s frustration of being women in the music industry, so it’s no surprise they tackle issues like this in their music. Their name is quite literally a mockery of the idealization of men.

“Revolution 0” is definitely a standout track for me. It’s another Bridgers-led track about mental health struggles and what seems to be a one-sided relationship. I simply love Bridgers’s voice; it meshes so well with Dacus’s and Baker’s as well.

boygenius returns to rock on “Satanist.” The trio takes turns asking someone, whether it be a friend or lover, to engage in various sorts of mischief with them. On a deeper level, the track is about asking someone to stay in your life.

“We’re In Love” is the sweetest song on “the record.” It’s a beautiful depiction of friendship and the devotion between Dacus and her bandmates. 

It’s another one of my favorites from the album, with Dacus’s soothing voice over a guitar; she asks her friends, “If you rewrite your life, may I still play a part? / In the next one, will you find me?”

The supergroup finds peace with death on “Anti-Curse,” which was inspired by Baker’s near-death experience on a beach in Malibu. The song feels cinematic, as Baker narrates her story while drums and guitar thunder in the background.

“the record” closes with “Letter To An Old Poet,” which competes with “Cool About It” to take the title of most heart wrenching track. 

“I wanna be happy / I'm ready to walk into my room without lookin' for you / I'll go up to the top of our building / And remember my dog when I see the full moon,” the trio sings.

The song serves as a sequel to “Me & My Dog,” the opening track on boygenius’s EP, and also one of my very favorite songs by the group. It's a perfect closer, and it feels like boygenius coming full circle.

“the record” certainly lives up to the anticipation fans have felt since the release of boygenius’s EP. It’s a gorgeous set of songs, and I’m convinced the mix of the three singers’ voices are what Heaven sounds like.

I know I’ll be returning to “the record” for a long time to come.

Rating: 9.5/10