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Lauv | ~how i’m feeling~ | Album Review

AWAL
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Most pop genre albums can be categorized by their peppy messages along the lines of ‘Believe in yourself no matter what!’ or ‘Life is always amazing!’ That’s what Lauv’s second album ~how i’m feeling~ subverts. Instead of following industry standards, the record acts as a refreshing take on pop music by taking an honest introspective look on himself.

On its surface, the deeper message to the record isn’t immediately clear. Tracks like “fuck i’m lonely” and “i’m so tired…” feature clicking synths and bouncing acoustic guitar chords with catchy choruses that set the tone of a stereotypical pop record. Each song is one that could be played on repeat in the summer with the car windows down.

But when drawing the curtain of the pop-backing away, listeners see just how vulnerable Lauv is on this record. In “Sad Forever,” he whispers, “Cause lately, I’ve been in the backseat to my own life / Trying to take control, but I don’t know how to,” before frantically blurting how he doesn’t want to be sad anymore. The words themselves have an impactful meaning, but the way in which Lauv sings them communicates exactly how heavily this burden weighs on him.

It is the combination of taking the mood of a pop song with vulnerabilities that communicates just how difficult it can be to get this personal in a world that’s drowning in the positive messages. “Drugs & The Internet” slowly builds a story of a breakup with an orchestral backing, then distracts itself from the true emotions with a bouncy synth describing how he’s coping with it in potentially unhealthy ways.

This sense of cognitive dissonance between how Lauv feels with the messages of those around him provide a well needed refresher for pop listeners drowning in the messages of positivity. Lauv recognizes how messy life is, and while it matters to recognize it, it matters even more to not let it impact how life is enjoyed.

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