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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Album Review: LANY - Mama's Boy

LANY - Mama's Boy
1. you!  2. cowboy in LA  3. heart won’t let me  4. if this is the last time  5. i still talk to jesus
6. paper  7. good guys  8. sharing you  9. bad news  10. when you’re drunk
11. anything 4 u  12. sad  13. (what i wish just one person would say to me)
14. nobody else

Released October 2nd 2020 through Polydor Records

There was only one person in the world I cared about hearing Malibu Nights,” says LANY's frontman Paul Klein. “Now, there’s not one person in the world I don’t want to hear mama’s boy.” Having long established himself as a heartbreak troubadour, Klein somehow knew there had to be change. Having dealt with the vulnerabilities of loving someone with every emotion, and the relationship breakdown that followed, the band needed a reincarnation, and they were about to get it following his epiphany on stage whilst touring last year. 

Playing across the world for months at a time can certainly be lonely, and ultimately formed the groundwork to the band's third studio album 'Mama's Boy' as the trio re-established their roots, from growing up in Oklahoma to the introspective views of family life. 'Mama's Boy' is that hat-trick, wholesome record that continues LANY's story telling narratives and spins them in a completely new light. It just so helps the backdrop is euphoric in its every ounce.

Wasting no time, it plants the seed with you!, an intro that pitches prominent emotion against their hurricane energy. Through its contrasting soft verse and chest rattling choruses, the band clearly have their sights set on stadium euphoria and there's no reason why they shouldn't reach that aspirant goal.

Having upped sticks to Nashville to record, Paul, Les Preist and Jake Goss hoped to achieve a new songwriting experience and it's certainly something that's evident throughout as they blend all-out-pop with hometown Americana. Take the retrospective cowboy in LA for instance as Klein gets reminiscent recalling his Oklahoma upbringing, all the while balancing a new world of bright lights and pink sky sunsets from his home in LA. The result.... a wide-screened cinematic pop effort with just the right amount of nostalgic imagery.

It still only feels like yesterday when I was introduced to the band through their pastel shaded single Made In Hollywood. Time flies when you're having fun, but blink and you'll miss it. And Klein knows this all too well as if this is the last time takes a retrospective look at his life. Encompassing their southern sensibilities, the track's emotive ode to his parents rings true to the cliched saying life's too short as he goes on to explain, "It was initially inspired by the inevitable truth that one day my parents aren’t gonna be here any more, that picking up the phone and calling my mom is actually a luxury that I won’t always have".

With religious themes running throughout their music, i still talk to jesus takes an honest look at his wrongdoings, before he seeks forgiveness crooning "I lied to my mamma, smoked marijuana, most of the time, I do what I wanna, you might not believe it, but I still talk to Jesus". Elsewhere he comes to the realisation that the grass ain't always greener on the other side with the emotive ballad, Paper. It's underrated, so subtle it could often be overlooked, but the depth in his songwriting builds Klein in to a true modern-day wordsmith. His lyrics fluidly melting in to their surrounding instrumentation.

Not only are guitars now at the fore, there's no filler here. No build up of interludes or instrumentals. Just 14 well thought out tracks. Even at its midway point we're still getting their culminated fragmented pop ideas in full effect as Good Guys breaks apart the idealist image of modern day love. A track that effortlessly depicts all the constant swiping, the showing lack of interest and games people play in the minefield that is dating. “As soon as you say ‘I love spending time with you’ to someone, they figure something out and they’re not interested anymore,” explains Klein of the song’s meaning. “It’s like a challenge. You accomplish the task of getting someone to like you and they move on.

Mastering a vast array of dynamics, from Bad news which sees the band's distinct synth pad arrangements come to life through buoyant lyrics and open space, to when you're drunk's euphoric energy and falsetto, it's a record that rises without falter.  

As it enters its penultimate stage, it wouldn't truly be a LANY record without some form of destructive self realisation and sad fills that void with arpeggiated synths and heartbreaking lyrics reminiscent of their Malibu Nights era. 

From (what i wish just one person would say to me) and its elongated melodies and the need for self appreciation, to the contrasting acoustic closer nobody else, described as a "modest love song", 'Mama's Boy' offers moments of striking brilliance through poignant lyricism and self-expression. There's a strong community that runs throughout LANY and I think it's safe to say this touching, soulfully dexterous LP caters for all.

'Mama's Boy' will be released Friday 2nd October 2020 via Polydor Records. Pre-Save and Pre-Order here.

*****

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