On 'Superache,' Conan Gray Exhibits Numerous Emotions — Which He Handles Quite Capably

posted by vicky684 about 5 months ago
On 'Superache,' Conan Gray Exhibits Numerous Emotions — Which He Handles Quite Capably
Superache is about as subtle as hanging a "Feelings Ahead" sign on an album's cover, yet Conan Gray reached the forefront of twentysomething music by putting his emotions front and center. On his second album, the 23-year-old YouTuber-turned-pop-star proves himself to be an adept observer of the human condition, recounting common scenarios and highlighting the split-second subtleties in encounters that may convert a warm relationship between two people into permanent ice.

Gray's voice contains both the passion of Shawn Mendes and the delicacy of Carly Rae Jepsen, a dynamic mix that lends sorrow and romance to his songs. Some of the more captivating tracks on Superache have Gray recounting the ups and downs of his personal life before decreasing the volume. Gray discusses instances in "Footnote" when he and a close friend were mistaken for a couple, his remarks ("They assume we are a pair/They gave us liquor"). As the music swells, he sings of the intensity of his love, "I will simply take a footnote in your life/And you might take my body," as a chorus gathers around him. His subject matter is not restricted to romance. On "Family Line," he candidly portrays the misery of growing up in a home illuminated by his father's rage and his mother's denial; "God, I have my father's eyes/But my sister's when I weep," he wails on the chorus, a terrible representation of how sorrow can profoundly change people.

In the last several years, producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Dan Nigro has become something of a Gen Z pop whisperer, and Superache is his latest presentation. The former lead vocalist of the daring Long Island emo-soul band As Tall as Lions produced the majority of Gray's first full-length, Kid Krow, and helped Olivia Rodrigo transform her post-breakup emotional mess into 2017's powerful Sour. Nigro's sonic detailing smashes together touchstones from the Nineties alt-rock gold rush — breezy reggae-lite rhythms on the luminous "Best Friend," submerged backing vocals and piano on the gently heartbroken "Astronomy" — with prominent vocals and the occasional you-are-there detail, a technique that allows his charges' youthful emotionalism to storm across generational divides.

The song "Jigsaw," which transitions from gritted-teeth riffing to a grunge-power-pop chorus, then breaks into a scream-along bridge and a stuttering guitar solo, is the clearest illustration of how Nigro's inventive aural design accentuates the pain at the heart of Gray's words. There is also "The Exit," a co-write with go-to pop architect Julia Michaels that closes Superache; it vibrates with jealousy and self-loathing, its descriptions of envy and sadness punctuated by an explosive chorus in which Gray's inner monologue pauses briefly before being overtaken by a maelstrom of backing vocalists. Eventually, the song's musical and lyrical chaos comes to a halt, the musical equivalent of someone crying until they are physically unable to do so anymore; it is a fitting way to end this album, an intense but frequently rewarding examination of sentimentality from one of youth culture's foremost pessimists.
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I am Victor UC popularly known as "Mr Victor Vlogs", I am a blogger, Content creator, web developer, etc.

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