I was looking forward to listening to LANY’s debut album, I have to admit. Let’s be honest: three well-received EPs, several singles released over the past two years did a good job, to fill the air with anticipation for the Californian trio’s debut release. It couldn’t have been otherwise, after all, when you combine delightful synth riffs with a long lost 80s’ vibe, and when the target audience is that millennial generation everyone likes to talk about nowadays.
Confetti rainfalls are the most recurrent image, at least in my mind, throughout the 16 tracks of this self-titled debut album. I’ll tell you why in a minute. Paul Klein’s songwriting brings the listener through the fragile balance of a twisted relationship. Euphoria and melancholia alternate, starting from ‘Dumb Stuff’, ‘The Breakup’ and ‘Super Far’, the opening tracks that warm up the atmosphere and let you think that, yeah, the best has yet to come. The thing is that LANY are ambitious, yet don’t like stepping out of the box. They end up showing some diligent songwriting, that’s fact, which on the other hand inevitably drives to a less personal and more fabricated sound.
‘Flowers On The Floor’ is another ideal tune to listen to on a beach at dusk, nothing more, whilst the following ‘Parents’ is probably one of a kind. The track is just a… recording of LANY’s drummer Jake Gross’ mum who leaves a voicemail on his phone, commenting a new tattoo pictured on Instagram. Erm, really?
That’s it, basically, with more than a half record to go; the hypnotic ‘ILYSB’ itself is not fresh anymore and not enough to change the idea that is now planted in my mind. Despite a couple of nicely crafted ballads (‘Hericane’, ‘Purple Teeth’), the record just corroborates a sense of boredom that becomes stronger minute by minute. And it’s a shame because synth-pop is such a beautiful and powerful medium. Why waste it with this cheesy going back and forth in a relationship like there was no tomorrow?
Confetti rainfalls, I said above. LANY wrote a record that sounds more like a “greatest hits” of the past three years of production. The surprise effect has vanished, and this record jumbles together the band’s “best of” with other pretentious and effortless tunes. Quantity over quality. Expected as a miracle, this is just “millennial pop”, or pop for millennials, if you prefer. It surely works, for now, although I am wondering: will it last longer than this sunny and warm summer?
Interscope Records | 2017
Tracklist & Stream