Yungblud Album Announcement, Track List Predictions, and Song Review for "god save me, but don't drown me out"
For the last couple days, Yungblud has been teasing the beginning of a new era. While we've gotten two singles from the latest album ("Weird" and "Strawberry Lipstick") already, before yesterday and this morning, we didn't know much about the larger project they belonged to. Yesterday, Yungblud dropped a teaser video to get us all excited about today's release. In the video, which features Yungblud in a number of interesting, bold looks, he reads a monologue that acts as a sort of manifesto for the era. While I've had mixed feelings on the songs so far (LOVE "Weird", more meh on "Strawberry Lipstick"), this video got me hooked for the album cycle.
In it, he says, "What does it mean to be weird, that beautifully fucked up name? Is it a name of celebration? Is it a name of pain? I think that decision lies with us and us alone. Cause the thing about human beings is that we're all fifteen different people at any one moment. We don't know which version of ourselves we're gonna wake up to. I spent so much time fighting and silencing those people who made me who I am because I was so afraid of what the outside world would think. But if you remain silent to the people inside yourself, then you're always going to be silent to everyone else. Embrace the strange, celebrate the abnormal. Allow every part of you to speak, sing, and run around in circles in your mind. What does it mean to be weird? To be weird is to be different and extraordinarily free. In my opinion, to be weird is the best thing you can fucking be.
I love this speech so much, and it reminded me of why I follow Yungblud in the first place. Really, why I follow any of the artists I write about here. I feel like they understand me, understand the ways I'm weird and how that's okay, better than anyone else somehow. I'm going to think about his words on weird for a while. It's a word I like. It's a word I've come to embrace and spin into a positive connotation after being called it enough time. Weird is a part of my identity, and I love that this album is made for people exactly like me.
This video was just foreshadowing for this morning when I woke up to the album announcement! This morning we got album art that looked slightly Breakfast Club or 80s teen movie, but with a major twist. Every character is Yungblud in different outfits, sometimes in drag, each one more fantastic than the last. There's a version of the strawberry lipstick look, a nerd, a school girl with Bratz doll vibes, a kissing couple, one outfit that looks stolen from one of Beyonce's tours, and then the Dom in the middle in a black jacket covered in pins that is probably my favorite. They're against this teal, metal wall that pops so nicely and has WEIRD!, the album title, spray painted on it. To go with the art, we got a release date (November the 13th (otherwise known as Friday the 13th(cause when else would Yunglbud drop an album, really?))), a presave link, a merch line, a track list, and a brand new song. He's really giving us everything straightaway. You can go presave the album on any streaming service now, and the merch is up on his website here and you can see everything in his Instagram post.
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WEIRD! the album will be released on friday 13th of november. i cannot wait for you to fall into this world with me. together let’s re define what it means to be “different”. embrace the strange. never settle for being anything less than 100% who you are, even if that’s 15 different people all at the same time. i love each and every one of you for exactly who you are. you saved my fucking life! what does it mean to be weird? let’s find out. GO PRE ORDER NOW!!! (link in bio) oh ... and btw there’s a song out too 🖤🧷🖤 #weareweird
Getting into all the details, we're getting 12 new tracks from Yungblud, three of which we already have, and I'd imagine we'll get at least one more on the way to November. This seems to be a concept album delving into weirdness, and I'd also imagine, those many selves that Yungblud keeps referencing in album promo. What if each personality has a song on the album? It's confusing because there are 7 personalities on the cover, 12 songs, and 15 personalities named in the video, though, so I doubt there will be a real one to one connection. But maybe on some of the songs since I keep calling the guy in red pants the "Strawberry Lipstick" one.
The tack list opens with "teresa" and then follows with "cotton candy", "strawberry lipstick" (explicit), "mars" (explicit), "superdeadfriends", "love song", "god save me, but don't drown me out" (explicit), "ice cream man", "weird!" (explicit), "charity" (explicit), "it's quiet in beverly hills" (explicit), and finally closes with "the freak show".
Going through that, the singles might cue some mood shifts in the album because they all sound very different from one another. "strawberry lipstick" is loud, overwhelming, hard, and more punk leaning, "god save me, but don't drown me out" is also loud and in your face but has more rock elements and a bit more singing than screaming, and "weird!" is kind of the anomaly in Yungblud's music because it's the most like what's on the radio today- more mellow and contemplative. "weird!" was the song that made me start paying attention to Yungblud after Halsey gave the song a shout out.
On specific songs and documenting the possibilities for what they might be like before it comes out, I'm going to guess "teresa" might have something to do with one of the women on the album cover? Maybe about connecting with your feminine side (think Harry Styles "She" but sounding nothing like that, actually). "Mars" might deal with the idea of being an alien in relation to being weird. "love song" is intriguing because I can't tell whether he'll give us an honest love song or if the title is just a fake out. I have no guess as to what "ice cream man" is about really, beyond an allegory on innocence and childhood. But the title stuck out to me because I can't seem to get away from ice cream in music this season. BlackPink recently smashed it with their Selena Gomez featured "Ice Cream" and then a photo leaked (from presumably an album artwork shoot) of Lauv and Conan Gray sitting in this wacky, pink world each holding a cone of soft serve. Why is ice cream making a revival like this? "it's quiet in beverly hills" will be his second mediation on California and LA after his song on his first album, "California". It seems to be a place that offers a lot of inspiration. When I read that, I immediately thought of Yungblud and Halsey at the BLM protests there earlier in the summer, but during that time, it was distinctly not quit in Beverly Hills. Consider me intrigued.
If I had to name a top 3 of songs I'm most looking forward to just from titles, it would probably be "superdeadfriends", "love song", and "it's quiet in beverly hills" with "cotton candy" and "charity" close behind. Yungblud does have a knack for creating intriguing titles. Is it weird that I don't know if any of these songs will top "weird!" for me though. I usually don't like singles because I feel like they play for mass appeal and the album tracks tend to have more vulnerability, but that song just means so much to me. Also, Yungblud operates so far outside the mainstream music industry that I don't feel like his singles vs not singles are as stark as someone like a Taylor Swift.
Now on to discussing Track 7, the lengthily titled "god save me, but don't drown me out" that dropped this morning. The track seems to be an anthem about realizing that you shouldn't be defined by your past and that there's still time to go forward and do what you want to do. Stop holding yourself back and be who you are.
Sonically, it's a drum and guitar heavy track that has a warmth to it that "strawberry lipstick" is missing for me. Yungblud always delivers on his anthems about being yourself, and this is no exception. It has a full sound, but it's not distracting. Dom's voice is also really pretty on this track. He floats through the high notes with a delicacy that feels almost like thin glass.
Getting into the lyrics, the chorus covers the main themes of the song that basically proclaim even if you feel broken, you're not beyond repair, and nothing should stop you from going after your dreams. Nothing should stop you from being yourself. The verses are a continued drug/alcohol metaphor of being out of it and not knowing how to cope.
The lyric is pretty short overall, which seems to be a trend, and the verses are poetic while the chorus is a stream of consciousness type feel and the bridge is just a bit too repetitive for my taste. It's starts off with "calm me down before I sleep/Cause I don't know where I've just been/And the morning seems so far away/And the drugs just hit, so I'm wide awake". While it makes sense literally, it also has a metaphorical layer of that morning where things will be easier or you can find yourself feels ages away so you dull it with substance, but being on brings you closer to that person you want to be in the morning. The second verse is my favorite lyric of the song where he picks up the motif again, "Take a breath and try to think straight/ Cause there's so much pressure on my fuckin' brain/ and my blood runs thin cause I'm off my face/and my shoulders weigh more than I can take". I love those images so much and relate to them deeply. We all live in a pressure cooker.
Getting into the chorus, he sings, "Not gonna waste my life cause I've been fucked up/Cause it doesn't matter/to waste my time and god save all of us/and the walls will shatter/ And I won't let my insecurities define who I am/ Not gonna waste my life cause I've been fucked up/Cause it doesn't matter." I love how triumphant this declaration is. I also love how he phrases this version of owning who you are. Because there are moments when I've felt beyond repair or that I was too messed up to succeed, but that's simply not true. I love how he takes that so head on. Also, the idea that he's not going to waste his life being someone he's not because society has taught him a ton of fucked up rules. It's a fascinating, linked double meaning. The line about insecurities is also so universally true. How many things have you let pass you by because you told yourself you're not good enough? Stop self-denying.
*Also, if you use Apple Music, it will trick you into listening to the clean version if you click what pops up first on Yungblud's page, and it ruins the chorus. There's a weird gap in the second verse where he's talking about the pressure on his brain where they took out the cuss word, and I kept wondering if they just messed up, but reading the lyrics made me realize I needed to go in search of the explicit version.*
Then, at the end of the song, you can faintly hear his voice in the background talking. He says, "I think we might be all right, you know," and then he laughs. That's my favorite part of the song, outside of the second verse. It's so off the cuff and comforting. It's a little reflection instead of trying to scrape some hope into an anthem. He says it in a way that almost makes me believe him.
So that's all I have for this giant Yungblud round up of news! When he teased something big on Thursday, I didn't think he'd give us almost everything about the new era. Also, I'm just so pumped for new album cycles from everyone starting again because I feel like COVID stole that from us for a while. Even though touring is still a disaster, I'm glad that the music industry is pushing forward and trying to make the best of this mess. Getting lost in new eras is one of my favorite things in the world, and Yungblud gave me that rush today. Let me know in the comments (or tweet me @mslaurenbrice) with your thoughts on the new song/new era/your best predictions.
Also, make sure you click the subscribe button on the home page to get email alerts or follow me @mslaurenbrice on social media to get new updates on tomorrow's song drops too. Olivia O'Brien and Sasha Sloan both have new songs out tomorrow, and make sure you subscribe on my YouTube channel too for more music discussions. Tomorrow, I'm reacting to One Direction's last album Made in the AM.
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