Album Review // LANY ‘mama’s boy’
Swapping Malibu nights for Southern sunsets, LANY pay homage to their roots with a reflective and awe-inspiring collection of songs, mama’s boy.
After the success of their 2018 album, Malibu Nights, LANY‘s frontman Paul Klein and his band mates Jake Goss and Les Priest found themselves far from home, reminiscing on their journey so far. Seeking the familiarity and comfort of loved ones, a retrieve to a Nashville studio was much needed as the trio made the decision to go back to where it all started. The result they emerged with is an all-encapsulating, wholehearted, and moving body of work that brims with intimate moments and pure, unadulterated emotions, taking the classic LANY sound to a full-bodied study in alt-pop music. An ode to love, family bonds, and heritage, mama’s boy is a step forward while looking back at the past through a lens of wisdom and accomplishment.
Hinting at the multi-dimensional elements of the band’s songwriting as they blur the lines between personal and universal values, opener you! is a gracefully executed power pop anthem that will warm up even the coldest of hearts. Building gradually and effortlessly into a magnificent chorus, the lyrics “you’re the sun to the moon / you’re my ocean painted blue / you i’m nothing without you” are sure to fill your whole body with warmth and a sense of belonging.
Bathed in the golden sun of the Californian dream, cowboy in LA soars high with sparkling guitars and steady drum beats, brushed by Paul’s velvety vocals that set the tone for the deep introspection that lies at the core of the record. Lovelorn yet delightful, heart won’t let me follows next, feeding our melancholy with heavenly melodies about a love on the verge of collapse.
One of the stand out tracks on the album, if this is the last time is a love letter from singer Paul Klein to his parents. The soft acoustic instrumentation clutches the honey-glazed, warm vocals in a gentle embrace, as Paul lovingly narrates his life’s story. The lyrics “Life is flyin’ by and it’s hittin’ me now / I hope it’s not, but / If this is the last time, please come close” and “I don’t wanna cry, I’m bad at goodbye” are sure to strike a chord with many listeners. Capturing the fragility of life in just over three minutes, LANY remind you to cherish every moment as if it is your last. The band progressively introduces crisp piano notes and stunning string section elements before the electric guitar-infused bridge bursts into a shimmering pop glory.
Sun-kissed instrumentals, twinkling synths, and dreamy vocals are what makes good guys a classic LANY tune. With a tinge of hopeless romantisicing, the touching lyricism brings the sentimental quality of the track to the forefront, creating a blissful tale that is sure to tug at your heartstrings. In a similar vein, when you’re drunk is an absolute alt-pop hit destined for stadiums and arenas, cementing Paul’s words of wisdom: “pls don’t spend ur whole life trying to do the right things for the wrong ones.”
Soul-searching and spine-tingling, i still talk to jesus adds another layer of vulnerability and exposure to the process of self-examination, introducing gospel choirs and emotionally revealing lyrics, whilst paper is an honest take on a relationship in the digital age where not everything is as it seems.
A post-breakup number, sad juxtaposes airy soundscapes with a shattering realisation of the loss of a past love, sliding into (what i wish just one person would say to me) that embraces the heartbreak and every feeling that comes with it. Accompanied by subtle guitar strums, nobody else is the ultimate love song that brings the grand finale to the record.
In the current times of chaos and uncertainty, LANY bring peace and love into our lives with the release of their third album. Wonderfully engineered, immaculate, and meaningful, mama’s boy is 14 heartrending and inspirational songs designed to make you experience love and pain because to hurt and to feel is essentially and unequivocally human. Spinning the unmistakably LANY sound, but with more maturity and evolution, the record marks the true growth for the trio as they pour every part of who they are into their music. mama’s boy is home and LANY are forever.