Updated: Oct 19, 2020
LANY is an indie pop band from Nashville, Tennessee formed back in 2014. LANY stands for “Los Angeles New York,” emphasizing that their music reaches coast to coast. The band’s third album "Mama’s Boy," stylized "mama’s boy," was released Oct. 2, 2020.
I waited three days after the release date to finally listen to it on my walk back from class to my dorm. It felt wrong listening to this album without my full attention. I knew "Mama’s Boy" would be LANY’s rawest yet.
“This is us knowing exactly who we are and embracing ourselves fully for the first time as a band, and we’ve done our absolute best to make album 3 as perfect as possible,” read a statement from LANY on their Instagram page just three days after announcing their third album would be released this year.
LANY’s niche is their soft pop mixed with deep and meaningful poetic lyrics that flow so well out of frontman Paul Jason Klein’s mouth, combined with their iconic dream synths. His vocals on "Mama’s Boy" are astonishing, and he shows his full range on “heart won’t let me,” the third track on the album.
“This is one of the few songs in our catalog that sees me using the full range of my chest voice. It’s about as low as I can go, and the chorus is at the top end of my vocal register,” Klein wrote in his commentary for the album via Spotify.
"Mama’s Boy" opens up with “you!” released ahead of the album along with songs “cowboy in LA,” “if this is the last time,” and “good guys.” “You!” is the perfect opening track for the album with its mesmerizing slide guitar and admiring lyrics. The song is a love letter to anyone and everyone made complete with beautiful metaphors and vocals from Klein. It is a good first taste of the emotion and nostalgia that can be heard throughout the rest of the album.
The stand-out tracks of the album are “bad news,” “sad,” “good guys,” “you!” and “heart won’t let me.” These songs were the ones that stood out to me the most and are bound to be the top hits of the album. “Bad news” had a completely different feel to it along with “cowboy in LA” because of how Klein incorporated a southern twang into his singing.
"Mama’s Boy" has quickly become my favorite LANY album, which is extremely hard to say because of how raw and personal the other two albums were, especially "Malibu Nights" which came out in early 2018. Klein’s voice is what makes LANY stand out along with their creative and encapsulating lyrics and soft pop feel.
LANY’s storytelling within their songs and albums is incredible, and "Mama’s Boy" is no exception to the rule. The narrative of "Mama’s Boy" is of raw emotion, reminiscing on the good and bad, heartbreak, and a tribute to their beginnings in the Midwest.
The album's poetic lyrics and homage to where they started are what make the album so personal. "Mama's Boy" also exhibits a sense of freedom that comes with embracing their roots and nostalgia. “Cowboy in LA” and “good guys” do the best job of showing this tribute to their upbringing.
The 14 songs featured on "Mama’s Boy" create a vulnerable and emotional story of human experience. I highly recommend listening to the album in order and not skipping around songs, at least for the first listen.
While "Mama’s Boy" is a much different sound and feel than the LANY we’re used to, it’s just as great if not better. Hearing LANY’s authenticity and vulnerability in those 14 tracks is refreshing combined with their knack for creating their famous dream synths.