Among this week’s New Music Friday releases is LANY’s third studio album, mama’s boy — a 14-track collection of mature and introspective songs. The album was finished by the 3-man band during quarantine, holding LANY fans on the edge of their seats waiting for more.
Whereas LANY’s previous album, Malibu Nights, is the personification of a scorned lover, full of heartbreak bangers and depressing ballads, mama’s boy is mellowed out, a journey back to the roots, and it builds on all the epiphanies and self-reflection that follows a messy break-up.
Recovery is the theme of this album, ever-present in the opening track, “you!” which is a quintessential LANY song with a gentle, loving twist. Gone is the anger, the bitterness, and any remaining woes over a failed love — and it’s replaced with a sense of gratitude for the places LANY has gone, and has yet to go to.
In a way, despite this being their third album, mama’s boy is a coming-of-age album. It captures growth while still acknowledging the sting of lingering heartache. But with songs like “heart won’t let me” and “paper,” while the grit is gone, it is replaced by gentle pleas disguised as lyrics with a backdrop of melodic tracks. The album even has a religious undertone, with a choir feature in “i still talk to jesus.”
In an Instagram post announcing the album and sharing their vision, the band said, “…But now that I’m actualizing my dreams, I’ve developed a deep appreciation and love for the place that built me.”
Their band name — an acronym for Los Angeles New York — may seem antithetical after this album, but like they claim in “Cowboy in LA,” “When you’re with me, it’s better than Malibu.”
The truth about mama’s boy is that not every song will enrapture LANY fans like in the past, but this doesn’t mean it’s not a superb album. In fact, it’s the band’s strongest to date, simply because they are growing up and this reflects in their decisions on how to grow their sound, image, and their lyrics.
It’s a jump to say this album paints a clean slate for LANY, because if there’s one take-away from this collection of songs, it’s that LANY is growing and unafraid of all that is to come. As “nobody” boldly states, closing the album off, “California sunshine, but sometimes it’s gonna rain / I wish it was always blue skies, but they can turn to gray.”
Listen to “mama’s boy” here.