“You’ll be okay/ Everyone I know has got their debt to pay/ Sell your soul to make it/ That’s the modern way.” Lead singer Sameer Gadhia sings this on “Oblivion,” the fifth track off of Young the Giant’s newest album Mirror Master. With this song and eleven others, the indie rock band breaks a two-year silence for their fans, showing a more vulnerable and reflective side.
Mirror Master tells a clear story of self-discovery, inviting listeners to embrace personal struggle. With lyrically-focused songs, the album plays on the anxieties and insecurities that come with everyday life. In the standout song “Tightrope,” the band confesses “I don’t know how I ended up so close to where I started/ I went to war for peace of mind/ What was it for?” Listeners can relate to the feeling of self-doubt as the band focuses on this inner turmoil and its ties to relationships, expectations and societal pressures.
At times, the album feels somewhat drab with the melancholy songs “Brother’s Keeper” and “Darkest Shade of Blue.” Although the lyrics are thoughtful and fit the general theme, the instrumentals are boring and unmemorable. More fun and upbeat songs “Superposition” and “Simplify” make up for the dullness with experimentation in guitar riffs and a newer, more atmospheric vibe. These new sounds serve as a pleasant twist to Young the Giant’s traditionally chill beats from past albums. The album comes full circle with the final song “Mirror Master,” which feels like an immersive, cinematic experience.
At its heart, Mirror Master is a portrayal of a human experience expressing the insecurities of everyday life as honestly as possible. Although the band could have been more exploratory at times, the album provides a powerful and relatable message that devoted fans and new listeners can appreciate.