As I sit by a lake on this 800th day of the World According to Miss Rona (aka COVID-19), I am feeling like it’s time to add some stuff to the rating system for these Bite-Sized Album Reviews. I’ve realized that I haven’t added an adequate space in the rating system for replay value, which is a HUGE factor for me in how much I like an album (and honestly the scores of some of these projects drop a little bit because of the lack of it). For the purposes of these BSARs, Replay Value is going to refer to TOTAL replay value, meaning how often do I revisit the entire project or the majority of the project – we’ll call it 81% or more. And these will be given in whole numbers (so 0-20% = 1 heart, 21-40% = 2 hearts, 41-60% = 3 hearts, 61-80% = 4 hearts, and 81-100% = 5 hearts). So let’s take The Weeknd’s After Hours from the last First Listen. Out of the 14 songs on the original version of the project (we’re just gonna forget the Deluxe version because those extra songs are TRASH), I listen to 9 songs regularly. So that’s 64% of the project, or a Replay Value rating of 4. Make sense? Good. On to the review then! (You can find a description of all of the review criteria on the Album Reviews at a Glance page!)
I think Bren Joy was a Spotify Discover Weekly find. First song I heard from him was “Henny in the Hamptons.” When I tell you I fell in L O V E with that song?? It was so good – jazzy, groovy, and Bren Joy is singing his little heart out. It’s really such a good song, and I definitely had it on replay often for the next couple of weeks after hearing it. So naturally, during that time I had to visit the rest of Twenties (2019) to see if Bren Joy holds it down on the remainder of the project.
Cohesiveness of Story
As far as story goes, its clear that Bren Joy is sending us on a journey about how it feels to be a 20-something. The uncertainty, the yearn for love, the expectations that you have of yourself, the expectations that other people have of you, the general feeling of wanting to do something great with your life, while you still have the energy and the drive to. It’s all there.
Cohesiveness of Sound
And it doesn’t hurt that Bren has such an amazing voice! His vocals float on top of the production so well that it’s really difficult to not get lost in the beauty of each song. He’s still an up and coming artist, but it sounds like he’s been in the game for years. He has clearly gotten to the point where he’s in complete control of his sound; I’m honestly surprised that he doesn’t have 4 projects out already.
Like I mentioned earlier, the album really does take you on a trip through the experiences of a 20-something, and that includes giving us the ups and downs that come with being in your twenties. You feel the carefreeness of “Henny in the Hamptons” and the weight of the world on your shoulders while listening to “Drag Race,” a song about the endless fight to find your place in the world, when it seems like you’re being set up and your identities are getting in the way. It’s such a full experience.
With all of that said though, I don’t really find myself listening to the entire project often. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve listened to the whole thing since the first time I heard it. Nothing on the project was bad; there were just songs on there that I knew I was going to keep around and others that were good but didn’t warrant a second or third listen.
3 songs i dig…
“Drag Race” “Henny in the Hamptons” and “Pocket”
fave bar from the project:
That is how you bar out, folks!
Featured Image Credit: https://www.spacelandpresents.com/e/bren-joy-74879220765/
(listen to Twenties on spotify, by clicking on the image below)