Image courtesy of Lyrics Roll
By Renee Rasmussen
Less than a year after the release of Mama’s Boy, an album that challenged the typically predictable boy band, LANY disappointed fans with an album just as meaningless as its title: gg bb xx.
What made Mama’s Boy so intriguing was its fusion of southern themes with angsty pop, combined with the hint of a gospel tone in the background. It took a band that was commonly known for releasing songs about the LA nightlife to a band that lamented about their past, hometown roots, and the men they had become.
LANY’s new album has none of that depth, but rather comes across as whiny and overplayed (something that should not occur after the first listen). Running only 38 minutes long, the album leaves fans asking why LANY didn’t take more time to develop an album of equal caliber instead of regressing back to old mistakes.
gg bb xx has a rough start with the opening track “get away;” its main feature is lead singer Paul Klein saying “damn!” as the beat drops into the chorus. It’s catchy, but lacking any emotional depth, with repetitive and boring lyrics that get old after the first verse. It’s a song that no listener should feel guilty skipping.
The next two songs, however, shed hope on the album. The second track “up to me” brings a sense of maturity the other songs lack as Klein sings about a past love that he misses even as he finds some happiness in a new relationship. This song will make fans reminisce about “Good Girls” from their debut album. Both songs have the same narrative: Klein is a decent guy looking for love, while simultaneously realizing love is not in his control.
This theme continues throughout the third track “nevermind let’s break up” which, although obviously a breakup song, is one of the most fun tracks to listen to. Still, Klein portrays himself as the one who has been wronged, singing, “I stopped workin’ late and I stopped gettin’ high / And I stopped bein’ me ’cause I thought / That’s what you like.” At first it’s easy to sympathize with Klein, but upon a closer listen, fans have to ask themselves how Klein is painting his image.
After all, is it a lot to ask your boyfriend to be sober and work less?
For some the answer is, “maybe,” and to them Klein would salute and recommend the following phrase: “Well nevermind then, let’s just break up.”
LANY has worked hard to have the image of the boys who care too much. The track titled “dna” is a perfect example of the whinny, “woe is me” mindset Klein attempts to romanticize. Singing, “Sorry I call again when you don’t pick up / And tell you you’re beautiful but probably too much / I tried but I can’t treat ya like the rest of LA.” Mixed with the clap track in the background, fans can’t help but scoff rather than swoon at Klein’s attempts to make himself seem like the underdog.
The album continues with more lackluster tracks, cheesy lyrics, and poorly produced music, but the tenth track that ironically is one of the best songs on the album also perfectly explains why the rest of it is such a failure.
In “care less,” LANY sings to a generation that has lost all hope in the world around them, sees little meaning in anything, and only looks forward to reckless nights they can post about on their social media. However, on a deeper level this song speaks about a band that has come to grips with its mortality, and instead of looking to find a deeper meaning through their craft, has succumbed to despair and meaningless album titles and songs because they think it will somehow immortalize them.
Klein sings in the bridge, “Tired of thinking that’s all I feel / Gotta make a change while I can / I don’t mind if you don’t like it,” but them immediately transitions to the chorus and says, “Ripping through this town, calling all my ex-girlfriends / Blowing all my money, throw it all away / Burning down my house, I’m a brand new person.”
These lyrics feel like an explanation for this album. Each “love” song feels like a sloppy drunk text and any attempt at depth comes only when Klein examines his own failures instead of those of others (which he does not do often throughout this album). This “brand new person” he claims to be is rather simply a person Klein was two albums ago: a boy who believes he is entitled to love, fame, and sympathy while also claiming he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him.
Throughout this track Klein sings the line that gets repeated throughout the chorus, “Tryna get closer to feeling every day / A little bit less, care a little bit less.”
Sadly, this album proves that Klein, and LANY as a whole, should perhaps care a little bit more.