Boygenius proves that they are “Strong Enough” with new album “The Record”


Photo credit: Interscope Records

Boygenius’ first studio album, called “The Record,” was released on March 31, 2023.

Josie Morrow, Staff Writer

At the end of last month, the infamous supergroup, Boygenius, composed of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, released their long anticipated first studio album named “The Record.”
This supergroup has done something that very few groups have been able to do before: mixing three already established artists together to make a cohesive album. “The Record” allowed all three singers to have their moments to shine while also blending every aspect of their styles together.
In 2018, Bogenius abruptly released their first self-titled EP after only taking four days to compose it. This body of work was created so organically with the music being of such high quality, even with the small amount of time that was put into it. The highlight of this EP being the song “Salt In The Wound,” with lyrics like “Trick after trick, I make the magic, And you unrelentingly ask for the secret,” that itch a part of your brain that you never thought was possible.
The three had just come off their own successful years, all releasing stunning albums with Dacus’ “Historian,” Baker’s “Turn Out the Lights” and Bridgers’ “Stranger in the Alps.” However, this EP was arguably their best work. All three artists seemed to go their separate ways afterwards, continuing to set their own bars higher with Dacus’ “Home Video,” Baker’s “Little Oblivions” and Bridgers’ “Punisher.” However, in mid 2020, Bridgers emailed the others and asked, “Can we be a band again?” leading to the album that we know now.
“The Record” is composed of 12 songs with a 42-minute runtime. The entire album was created in only a month with the three meeting in Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios in Malibu with their co-producer Catherine Marks.
The album opens with a roughly minute and a half long acapella ballad called, “Without You Without Them,” focusing on the strong vocals of each artist. The contrast of Dacus’ voice to Baker’s at times can give you goosebumps.
We then jump directly into “$20,” a punk rock single that was originally written independently of the group by Julien Baker. The upbeat song is generic and the actual musical element feels like it could have really been composed by any indie-rock band. However, the song is well written: having aspects of all of the band members as we can see with the enraged Bridgers screaming “$20” at the top of her lungs over loud instrumentals to close the song.

Boygenius’ first studio album, called The Record was released on March 31, 2023. (Photo credit: Flickr/David Lee)

Baker continues to take the reins with “True Blue.” While this might be the best written song on the album with lyrics like “I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself,” the instrumentals are okay at best with very little unique qualities. I would consider this song one of the biggest let downs of the album because of the potential that the song had.
Then we move on to arguably the best song of the album, “Cool About It.” Listening to this song feels like taking a sucker punch to the stomach as the three all depict failed relationships. The gut wrenching lyrics such as “Wishing you were kind enough to be cruel about it” on the track are matched with absolute euphony from each individual singer and the melody of the banjo.
There are many Phoebe Bridgers tracks, especially in “Revolution 0,” that at times sound like they could come directly off of one of her albums. “Revolution 0” even had direct references to the closing track on Phoebe’s sophomore album “I Know the End,” with the lyric “I used to think if I just closed my eyes I’d disappear.” The moody beat alludes to the obvious influence that Elliot xSmith, one of the most famous indie-folk musicians of this generation, has had on her music.
Lucy Dacus also has her moment in “We’re in Love.” The song conveys the importance of the friendship that the bandmates have, the first verse starting with “You could absolutely break my heart, that’s how I know that we’re in love,” showing the level of pain that people you care about can cause. Dacus’ ability to portray emotions is beautiful and really ties back to the idea of the album being about the group’s genuine friendship outside of the supergroup.
The final track, “Letter to An Old Poet,” closes the album by talking about getting out of a toxic relationship and finally being ready to move on and get better. This is apparent with the lyrics, “I wanna be happy I’m ready to walk into my room without lookin’ for you.” The song is a perfect conclusion to an album discussing hardship and pain showing the light on the other side of the tunnel.
“The Record” is an almost perfect album, its ability to highlight each singer’s individuality and talent while blending them together makes it such a cohesive album. The supergroup of Boygenius can compare to the greats that walk before them, paving the way for female musicians.