A fun, emotional album with a gloriously bizarre core
Vicky Greer
00:00 4th December 2020

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Doncaster’s YUNGBLUD holds on to his title as leader of the underdogs with his second full length album weird!, released on 4 December. While his Underrated Youth EP was the start of a message of hope for the marginalised, the new album is an all-out celebration of everything bizarre, in which the 23-year-old singer revels in the extraordinary.

weird! is a multi-faceted album that shows off the many different sides of YUNGBLUD’s artistry. The different personas that he takes on throughout explore themes like sexuality in ‘strawberry lipstick’ and ‘cotton candy’, or loneliness in ‘love song’. Weird! reaches its emotional peak with recent single ‘mars’, which takes lyrical references from David Bowie’s classic ‘Life On Mars’, and tells the story of a young transgender girl inspired by a fan he met after a show. This song is as poignant as 2018’s ‘Polygraph Eyes’, one of his most highly-praised releases.

The singles that we’ve already heard are incredible - the kind of songs that you just want to scream at the top of your lungs - but they aren’t the only gems on the album. weird! has no filler tracks, each song stands out in its own right, and it’s likely that fans will have a new favourite song with every listen of the album.

Another highlight comes from another single ‘god save me, but don’t drown me out’. It showcases YUNGBLUD’s unwavering ability to express emotions in their rawest form: it’s difficult to think of another song that conveys this kind of desperation and self-acceptance so successfully.

The album also gives us exactly what it promised. Alongside YUNGBLUD’s usual rock/pop sound, there’s a gloriously bizarre centre of experimental music. Opening with 'teresa’s slightly creepy music box intro and almost theatrical build up, the album has an extra, exciting spark that shows YUNGBLUD at his best. This chaotic energy runs through the album, appearing most prominently in the electronically driven ‘superdeadfriends’ and ‘ice cream man’.

The constantly changing pace of the album, from the melancholic ‘love song’ to the divinely messy ‘charity’ are totally representative of YUNBLUD’s art. There’s no doubt that weird! will perform impeccably on stage, as we all keep our fingers crossed that his world tour and series of intimate album launch shows will go ahead in 2021.

Those who were excited about this release will not be disappointed in the slightest; YUNGBLUD has indeed struck gold on weird!. The album expertly balances referencing the worst parts of society while taking part in an uninhibited celebration of the self and calling out to fans to do the same.

Weird! is out now via Locomotion/Interscope.

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Photo: Press