Album Review: whenyoung – Reasons to Dream
The young Irish band’s debut album ‘Reasons to Dream’ is set to be released this Friday (24th May) and it is definitely something to get excited about. If you can’t wait that long, the first single ‘The Others’ is out now.
Whenyoung have created an interesting sound with their new album, with an array of messages and themes being found through the tracklist. From typical pop to politically charged tunes, whenyoung are able to create a good balance between feel good and think hard.
The opening track ‘Pretty Pure’ is one that is described in my phone notes as ‘sure to be an upbeat pop style classic.’ It was a nice way to begin the album with a tune you could bop along to. Whilst the song is highly catchy and upbeat, the lyrics raise the question which asks ‘are we human anymore?’ Now, this may just be me as a philosophy student, but it led to a slight existential crisis. I believe that any pop style song that discusses topics other than love and heartbreak are a winner in my eyes.
The second track on the album ‘Never Let Go’ was my personal favourite – I was able to see whenyoung support Sundara Karma when they were in Nottingham and this was a song that I continued to sing after the gig, even though they were a support act. The track itself was perfect to play live with the large build ups – it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. One thing I would say about this band is that they are performers that are suited to the stage or to be blared through speakers so I can sing along imagining I’m at Wembley – I don’t think you ever grow out of that! Many of their songs could get a crowd going, however, I am uncertain as to whether they’d be something I’d listen to through headphones to pass time.
‘The Others,’ whenyoungs debut single, is an interesting one in my eyes, on one hand it has a real upbeat melody, yet the lyrics discuss death and the class divide. This conflict I found really interesting, lead singer Aoife Power’s soft Irish tone juxtaposing against the harsh lyrics which were inspired by the Grenfell Tower fire. I think it’s so important for individuals with a following to make a stand about issues they believe in and I love the way that they were able to do this effectively whilst not being ridiculously in your face about it. It was extremely thought-provoking.
Many of the other songs on the album were enjoyable too – I really appreciate the mix of socially conscious lyrics and the more ‘poppy’ ones too and it made for a great listen. In some songs I really had to think about what was being said and others I could just dance along to in the shower and know the lyrics after two listens.
Another one of my favourite tracks was ‘You’re Grand.’ I would describe this as being the most stereotypical indie-rock piece on the album. However, I don’t think this was a bad thing at all as it was a nice contrast to the slower previous track ‘Blow Up the World.’
When I saw the title of the penultimate track on the album ‘Heartbroken,’ I instantly assumed it was going to be a negative and somewhat mopey song about teenage heartbreak, but I was totally wrong. Instead, it seemed that whenyoung were discussing the bigger issue of us all feeling lost and trying to mend our hearts. I was pleasantly surprised by this – mopey and whiny tracks are my pet hate! ‘Heartbroken’ was followed by ‘Something Sweet’ – a nice end to the album with a cool fade out.
Overall verdict – 7.5/10 – whilst the album had some interesting takes and I liked the way that they attempted to merge thought provoking songs and ideas with classic pop and indie-rock style tunes, I’m not sure it is something that I could play on repeat. Instead, it is an album that I know I would always enjoy played live.
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