i99Radio

YUNGBLUD finds his voice with Debut Album

https://genius.com/Yungblud-21st-century-liability-lyrics

https://genius.com/Yungblud-21st-century-liability-lyrics

When I was nineteen years old, I was often afraid to use my voice in order to take a stand for something I believed in.  Even more gripping than my fear, I had a difficult time finding my own voice and understanding my beliefs, as oppose to just following the crowd. While there is an ever present stigma that the youth should not voice their opinions on real-world issues, nineteen year old English Alternative Rocker, Dominic Harrison, better known as YUNGBLUD, calls B.S.

Yungblud started gaining traction with the release of his self-titled EP, YUNGBLUD, in the beginning of the New Year. The hype for this British rockstar exponentially increased when not one, but two of his songs were included in the very popular Netflix Original, 13 Reasons Why. One of these tracks, “Falling Skies” was created specifically for the series, while the other track, “Tin Pan Boy” was pulled off of his EP.

Then, almost six months to the day of the release of his EP, YUNGBLUD dropped his debut album, 21st Century Liability, on July 6th. Arguably his most popular track off the album, “I Love You, Will You Marry Me,” captures the very essence of YUNGBLUD: energetic, catchy, genre-bending with elements of hip hop and rock and roll, and of course, lastly and possibly most important to YUNGBLUD, it delivers an important message (Check out the story behind the song here). Most of the album follows the above formula, achieving an outcome completely unique to YUNGBLUD.

21st Century Liability starts with a thirty second track called “Eulogy,” where YUNGBLUD sets the tone for the entire album. In the past, YUNGBLUD has described himself as a ‘socially conscious artist unafraid of delivering genre bending protest songs,’ and “Euloy” deliverers that exact promise. More than half way through the song YUNGBLUD explains who killed him and why, “He just didn’t give a f**k really, so the politicians killed him / He spoke too loud.” Even with only hearing thirty-two seconds of the thirty-five minute album, it is extremely clear that YUNGBLUD is going to protest and create some noise.

The following track, “Die for the Hype,” highlights YUNGBLUD’s youthfulness. The song is full of originality, vigor, spirit and playfulness. But it’s not all fun and games, the protest anthems continue to rage on with “Doctor Doctor,” “Medication,” “Machine Gun (F**k the NRA),” “Psychotic Kids” and “Anarchist.” The beginning of “Doctor Doctor” has an element of reggae to it, while “Medication” focuses on the reality of being imperfect. Next, “Psychotic Kids,” one of my favorite songs on the album, is the epitome of the ultimate loud anthem for future generations to sing-a-long with. YUNGBLUD repeatedly sings, “Psychotic kids, they don’t know what they want / Pyschotic Kids we’ve got to keep control of them,” essentially calling upon future generations to rebel and rise against the idea that “youth is wasted on the young” and that we’re too young to know/understand anything. The ending of “Psychotic Kids” is also the beginning of “Doctor Doctor,” proving the album works as one entity.

Within these five songs, especially “Machine Gun” and “Anarchist,” YUNGBLUD ulitizes the technique of repetition. This is a trend that is carried throughout the album. Both choruses repeat the important message YUNGBLUD is delievering. In “Machine Gun,” YUNGBLUD repeatedly sings, “You’re making me famous.” “Machine Gun” is sung from the perspective of the killer. YUNGBLUD is clearly  sending a message about gun violence in America and the media’s influence. Likewise with “Anarchist,” repetition is used again to drive the message of the song. Unlike the choruses, the lyrics of both of these songs do not necessarily use repetition, however the message is not lost.  YUNGBLUD slows his words down, being clear and articulate, allowing the listener to hear and understand his message. YUNGBLUD is not hiding behind loud guitars or drums, he has something important to say about several different topics and he wants to be sure that he is heard.

In 21st Century Liability, YUNGBLUD is tackling issues that others are afraid to discuss. YUNGBLUD puts his fear aside and shows vulnerability through “Polygraph Eyes” and “Kill Somebody.” “Polygraph Eyes,” one of the slower tracks on the album, tackles the issue of date-rape culture. It is extremely refreshing to not only witness a male perspective on the issue, but to have a male ally. Once again the trend of repetition is employed to hone in on the gravity of the issue, “Leave it alone mate/ She doesn’t want to go home with ya, home with ya, no.”

Similar in sound and message, “Kill Somebody,” the only track on the album with mostly vocals and guitar, discusses the effects of being scared and trapped in a very dark place inside of one’s mind. Often the dialogue around mental health still seems to be too taboo for people to discuss, however, YUNGBLUD openly shares his fear, in hope that listeners will be able to relate, have an outlet and then ignite a conversation. With every single song of 21st Century Liability, especially these two songs, it seems like YUNGBLUD is creating something much bigger than music.

The album ends with “California” and “21st Century Liability.” The first song accentuates YUNGBLUD’s vocals, emotion, and visual art with the accompanying video, while the latter emphasizes YUNGBLUD’s  eccentricity. The closing track, which shares the same title as the album, gives off  ‘Beastie Boys’ and ‘Red Hot Chili Pepper’ vibes. It is the perfect way to end the album, as the song builds, leaving the listener wanting more. Each track off the album is very eclectic, but still functions as a whole. Every song follows the YUNGBLUD formula making 21st Centurty Liability a very unique listening experience.

It is hard to believe that YUNGBLUD is only nineteen years old and it is unfathomable to believe that 21st Centurty Liability is his first album. YUNGBLUD is creating something that currently no other artist is doing. He is creating an anthem for the youth. He is writing fight, riot and protest songs. He is allowing the youth to find and use their voices by creating an album that allows them to have a safe space. He is facilitating an open dialogue and conversation about mental health through his music. YUNGBLUD is a freaking rockstar. In the past rockstars were known for partying, getting drunk and breaking things. But today, YUNGBLUD shows through 21st Century Liability, he is a socially aware rockstar who uses his voice to foster conversation and create change through his music.

Get tickets here for YUNGBLUD’s Philly show at  Boot & Saddle on Saturday, October 27th! Check out other cities’ tour dates here.