Album Review: Young the Giant, ‘Home of the Strange’

Written by Amy Geis

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There’s no denying that the best way to listen to a new album is popping it into your car’s CD player and hitting the pavement. So I grabbed a couple friends and off we went. It gives you the opportunity to absorb the music as a first time listener while being submerged into life’s surroundings – the buildings out your window zipping by and the yellow blurred lines below. The world and the music in your ears all make up that moment and you can feel it in your bones.

We turn to each other and agreed that Young The Giant can’t put out bad music.

Young The Giant’s third LP, Home of the Strange, comes nearly two years after the release of their fan favorite sophomore album, Mind Over Matter. Frontman, Sameer Gadhia, has shared that the narrative behind the new music is one of immigration in the United States. The band as a whole are all either first-generation Americans or immigrants themselves, they used this record to expose the struggle of assimilation in America, all while trying to not lose your culture.

The opening track, inspired by an unfinished Franz Kafka novel, “Amerika” does just that. They are sticking their nose into a huge political debate at the current time, giving the point of view that not many of us have experienced. Followed by “Something To Believe In” which conveys the desire to be more than what people have envisioned for you. “You’ve got to listen / I’m a songbird with a brand new track / You underestimate,” Gadhia wails to the masses. This self-worth anthem will leave you eagerly wanting more.

“Repeat” hits us with an optimistic story of the world being this charming and fascinating place that is bigger than any of us. “Somewhere in the mountains / And buried in the snow / Life grows underneath us.” Giving the vision of the freedom and hopefulness that immigrants experienced moving to this country. Everything is new and interesting and beautiful.

However, The Cali-based electronic rockers didn’t let the topic of immigration dominate the songwriting. “Silvertongue” comes equip with dancey beats and a catchy chorus. It picks up the tempo and will transfer from album to live on the stage perfectly. The annoyed, almost livid track “Jungle Youth” calls out the entitled people of the world that are too selfish to notice. The quintet has a way of making calm, patient music while simultaneously packing it with energy and punchy melodies that make your body want to move. They’ve mastered synth pop.

Young The Giant is a gentler alternative band that can straddle numerous genres at once. Their attention to songwriting and neglect of being a showy band is much appreciated and sets them aside from most. The emotion that Gadhia can portray in his voice is that of a godly power and it leaves Home of the Strange nothing short of memorable. They embrace their distinct Young The Giant sound, but don’t let it limit them.

Rating 7 out of 10

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