American boy-band, LANY have thrown away their western pop culture traits and stepped into the southern roots with their most honest and open work to date.
Over two-week’s primary lyricists, producer and songwriter Paul Jason Klein decamped in a country studio outside of Nashville where he delved into the tribute of the cognitive dissonance between the L.A. persona he’d adopted over the band’s rise and his Great Plains heritage. ‘Mama’s boy’ is a homage of himself most might fear to tread in across a vulnerable yet confident 14-track album.
Opener ‘you!’ sets out the signal of the end of their Malibu Nights era as they dive into glassy synths against a steady drumbeat. Providing a sense of glamorizing nostalgia, ‘you’ sets out a tone for the rest of the album. Followed through ‘cowboy in la’ an honest track that allows listeners to experience the feelings of Klein falling in love as he sings “Sunsets / They ain’t got nothin’ on you”. LANY are no strangers to singing about heartbreak singles, although mama’s boy touches themes such as family and religion, the trio makes sure to include tinted ballads and break up tunes with ‘heart won’t let me.’ As he paints a portrait of someone bruised but struggling to walk away from the source of their pain, ruminative chords give a glimmer of hope.
Throughout the project, it is evident the trio have grown away from romance and started to reflect on their home roots and family – ‘if this the last time’ a love letter to his parents that unfolds a heartwarming anthem. As the emotions continue throughout, Klein analyses his relationship with God by admitting he’s not a perfect Christian in the tune ‘i still talk to jesus’. Through humble guitar strings and powerful choir, ‘i still talk to jesus’ is a gentle but moving single that will hit with his listeners.
There are points within the album where Klien’s warming falsetto is about to break as he reflects his actions, but as he confines to his responsibilities – he powers through. Key points of the album might have come early, but the likes of ‘good guys’ continues to show their strength even though everything LANY have done comes to an end. As we’re thrown through their southern roots, alcohol seems to be a substance that appears through LANY’s journey, which becomes present on ‘when you’re drunk’. In which Klien calls out a growing romance by singing “you only ever want me when you’re drunk” that’s juxtaposed by electric guitar beats and funky melodies.
‘mama’s boy’ comes to a bittersweet send-off with ‘nobody else’ a stripped back tune that’s fulfilled with piano and acoustic guitar soundscapes. As Klein buries the heartbreak that resulted in ‘Malibu Nights’, hope comes to an end of a sweet note and paves the way for more optimistic tunes.
The arrival of their new soundscape that has thrown away their fond of catchy pop hooks, but kept to a familiar nostalgia, sees ‘mama’s boy’ paving a new path for LANY. With them diving deep into the roots of their past and present through an emotionally yet sonically 14-track album, LANY seems to be home.