Album Review: Young The Giant—“Home Of The Strange”

By George Moshenski-Dubov, Feature Photo via MTV.com/taken by Pieter Van Hattem

Young The Giant—best known for their songs “Cough Syrup,” and “My Body”released their third studio album Home Of The Strange last month. Between then and now, Young  The Giant have slowly incorporated a taste of pop into their indie rock band in addition to a broader subject matter. The songs on Home Of The Strange tackle issues of social identity concerning culture, religion, and nationality in America. This doesn’t come as a challenge to Young The Giant, a band that is extremely diverse. The lead singer Sameer Gadhia’ parents are Indian, drummer Francois Comtois is a French-Canadian, guitarist Jacob Tilley is British, bassist Payam Doostzadeh is of Persian origin, and guitarist Eric Cannata is an Italian Jew. With this diverse mix of members, the band tackles the nuances of living as diaspora in modern day North America.

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Album Art for Home Of The Strange

“Amerika” is written in the eyes of an immigrant who is seeking the American Dream, caught between their learned norms and values while trying to oblige to the norms of the American society. “Something to Believe In” is arguably the most popular song of Young the Giant’s new album, peaking at 24 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs, with over seven million plays on Spotify. In this song, the singer struggles with religion. The singer has difficulties trying to believe in a God, even asking him for something to believe in. This song, like many on the album, lyrically describes hardships with finding one self’s identity. This is not only evident in the song’s subject matter, but also associated with the album art.

The album’s cover art is a beautiful abstract depiction of seven dark coloured mountains, that may or many not symbolize the seven continents on Earth. One mountain has a face with five figures walking into it’s mouth, potentially representing each of the five members of the band. Around the mountains are various different coloured people, wearing different coloured outfits, holding dozens of different coloured flags. Many of the figures are being transported on boats, or animals, that could illustrate immigration. The beauty of this album is not only evident in the album art, it is also evident in the way I’ve perceived this album.

The lyrical aspect of the album is amazing, as it sings about issues of identity that we all witness in society. Many of us are immigrants, and we ourselves might be fighting to pay tribute to our ancestry and background while trying to fit into this modern world. The light-hearted rock melodies in the album pair perfectly with the deeper lyrics, similar to what you can see with other rock bands, such as Twenty One Pilots and Coldplay. Despite the amazing record, I do not think it will be as popular as their second album, Mind Over Matter. That being said, this is record is a piece of art that can should be appreciated, especially as something that is different. If you’re a lover of indie rock, or just looking for something new, this is worth a listen. (Fueled By Ramen)

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