Boygenius captivated many with their first full length LP, coincidentally titled, “the record.” Each of the respective members brought their unique writing styles to the album, while still maintaining the collaborative feel of their first EP. Boygenius has not only proven their importance as a band, but they have kept the urgency of poetry alive.
“Without You Without Them,” is a sweet-as-molasses a capella track that kicks off the record beautifully. It invites the listener to be immersed in these interwoven personal, yet relatable stories by beginning the experience with standalone three-part harmonies. This song sets the tone for the record perfectly, alluring you in and illustrating power through the simplicity of a trio of voices.
The transition from the opening track to “$20,” an unmistakably Julien Baker song, is a highlight of the album. It features Baker’s rebellious persona in a way that demands action from the listener: “can you give me $20?/I know you have $20.” Baker’s hardcore influence shines through on this track, as well as in the later “Satanist.” Both showcase the need to scream unabashedly on a record, something new for boygenius. In contrast, we see their return to their folky sound with tracks like “Emily I’m Sorry,” and “Revolution 0.”
These songs showcase the gut-wrenching lyricism attributed to Phoebe Bridgers, asking questions we are all too scared to ask, such as “if it isn’t love, then what the fuck is it?” The third member of the trio, Lucy Dacus, also has an equally honest way of writing. She remarks on how valuable it is to be understood in “True Blue,” with her signature alto lead vocal. She examines a relationship that hurts, but ultimately perseveres because “it feels good to be known so well.”
The fourth single is an anthem for those who struggle with intimacy and feeling sufficient for their partner. “Not Strong Enough,” best illustrates both a need to protect and to be protected through the lyric “always an angel, never a god.” This song stands out on the album as both a tear-jerker and a head-banger, with interesting production and dynamic vocals.
This record explores themes of breakups, death, and love through lenses of heartache. The three members have cemented their spot among the best writers of this generation, and when they collaborate, they form an ultimate supergroup. They also have grown and taken more risks on this album than their softer, more intimate first EP. “the record” ultimately shows us that boygenius is a band bound by passion for their craft, and passion for each other.
- Hales Hughes

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