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Album review: ~how I’m feeling~ by Lauv

In this album review, Danny explores Lauv's multifaceted nature reflected in his latest album's lyrics in which he reveals his vast range of emotions.

On March 6, 2020, singer-songwriter Lauv released his debut studio album titled ~how i’m feeling~ with 21(!) songs, out of which 10 of them were pre-released as singles over the past year. So, many of us got a taste of it before this long album actually came out. These singles were a giant success with smash-hit tracks like i’m so tired…, f*ck I’m lonely, and Feelings – which made people even more excited for the rest of the material.

~how i’m feeling~ is a great debut album chronicling Lauv’s rise to fame, dealing with a break-up, and mental health while still embracing his personality. Although some songs could have been left out from this extensive album, the stand-out tracks easily overshadow these. His creation of six different color-coded personalities that shape his current identity shows us that we can be many different people as well. We dive into the head of Lauv while getting to know him and how he is truly ~feeling~.

Listen to it on Spotify while reading this review!

Drugs & The Internet ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑ 

Well-produced, a killer-chorus, and striking symbolisms, ‘Drugs & The Internet’ is definitely a bop and he couldn’t have picked a better song to debut the album. This track was one of his first-released singles all the way back in April 2019 detailing Lauv’s struggles with social media and anxiety, which sets the tone for the album.

f*ck, i’m lonely (feat. Anne-Marie) ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Also released in 2019, f*ck, i’m lonely’ was an instant hit, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. As the title – all in lower-case –  might suggest, this track is very relatable, honest, with such catchy lines and all the feels running throughout. This quirky song about being lonely as f*ck slaps and is one of the best on the album.

Lonely Eyes ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Kind of a continuation of f*ck, i’m lonely, the theme of loneliness becomes very evident with the incorporation of Lauv’s blue hopeless-romantic character. ‘Lonely Eyes’ explores connecting with a love-interest who feels lonely like you do. This track is so well-produced and it keeps building up to the bridge: lyrics matching every beat-drop, it feels exhilarating. 

Sims ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

‘’I wish that you and I lived in The Sims’’. This jolly single does an excellent job at fleshing out the entire concept of the album and the different characters Lauv has created. About meeting the right person at the wrong time, Sims is memorable, quirky, and, most of all, very playful with great lyrics to sing out loud.

Believed ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

A soon-to-become classic break-up song that ties very well with the emotional theme that radiates through this album. The production, especially in the chorus, makes this track simultaneously very joyful and heartbreaking. 

Billy ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Billy is the name of Lauv’s dog and he uses this persona to talk about his own rising to success as well as the anxiety that comes along. Thanking the people who didn’t believe in you, but also those who did, it’s uplifting and quirky, and with a bombastic production, we see the green goofy character in Lauv come out for this song.

Feelings ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Feelings talks about wanting to be more than friends but the other person having doubts. This song has a great production with such catchy guitar chords running throughout. The lyrics are brutally honest, portraying Lauv’s vocals very well, and it’s just an all-round wholesome representation for unrequited love. 

Canada (feat. Alessia Cara) ⭑⭑⭑

A slow ballad that doesn’t really live up to its expectations, as there was nothing but excitement for this collaboration with the iconic Canadian Alessia. The lyrics are about only needing each other to be happy, and nothing else would change that such as moving to Canada. The overall metaphor was good just as the performance of the duo, but it did not live up to our expectations…

For Now ⭑⭑

Another slow ballad but a solo this time, about a long-distance relationship through the phone, ‘For Now’. Lauv’s vocals and rhyming shine as always, but the storytelling on this track is rather dull, so unfortunately a skipper.

Mean It (feat. LANY) ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

‘’Don’t build me up, just to let me down.’’ This lyrically and vocally-amazing nostalgia-inducing single describes the feeling of being someone’s second choice. Basically: I’m fully committed to us, but stop wasting my time if you just want to play around. One of the best tracks on the album with the best verses and chorus, and you just want to scream the lyrics on top of your lungs. I mean it!

Tell My Mama ⭑⭑⭑

An ode to Lauv’s mother, a confession of love that he wasn’t able to express when he was younger. It’s a different aspect of how Lauv is feeling and by using his purple existential character, he’s conveying his regret in some life choices, which is a big part of the album too. Lyrically simple and fairly bland, this song is still very adorable and hits home.

Sweatpants ⭑⭑⭑⭑

This song feels very much like his previous compilation album, which I like. The production is so relaxing and upbeat at the same time with pleasant beat-drops. Even though this classic infatuation/love story is kind of surface-level, it is very cohesive with this album and fun to sing along to. Lauv’s orange fuckboy personality here turned out to be very sweet after all.

Who (feat. BTS) ⭑⭑⭑

Kind of a Canada 2.0-situation, the expectations were high but the delivery not so much… Vocals from both Lauv and the members of BTS are on point, but did we really want another slow ballad with mediocre lyrics about not knowing your love-interest anymore? 

i’m so tired… (feat. Troye Sivan) ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

‘’I’m so tired of love songs! Just wanna go home!’’ This iconic collaboration with Troye, was the first released single of the album. In this track, both artists talk about how tired they are of everybody falling in love. A very relatable song and some very catchy lyrics mixed with top-notch production, make this nostalgic car ride-track one of the most outstanding! 

El Tejano (feat. Sofía Reyes) ⭑ 

El Tejanodefinitely feels the most displaced on this album: Latin/Hispanic sounds and references mixed with lyrics that don’t really talk about anything related to the album’s aesthetic, except for incorporating Lauv’s red and ‘spicy’ personality. The exoticness he tries to achieve here feels forced and sadly you wouldn’t even know what the song was about after the first listen.

Tattoos Together ⭑⭑⭑

This song is just okay… Not bad but not good. ‘Tattoos Together’ basically talks about getting tattoos with your significant other to remember forever. Very cute and pretty funny and quirky to sing out loud, but lyrically rather basic and shallow. 

Changes ⭑⭑⭑⭑

In this short midtempo pop-ballad, Lauv talks about changing for the better, a call to action not only to him but to other people as well. Beautifully simple and to-the-point, with a memorable chorus, ‘Changes’ is a very relaxing song you can sing to on a Sunday morning. 

Sad Forever ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Lyrically it’s very honest and kind of healing because it talks about the importance of anxiety and depression, and not wanting to be sad forever basically. A midtempo ballad similar to ‘Feelings’, Sad forever is one of Lauv’s best vocal and lyrical tracks. 

Invisible Things ⭑⭑⭑

Yes, we love a non-materialistic Lauv with his yellow positive personality coming out. Reminiscing the intangible things with a former lover is the whole story of this song. It’s a little repetitive and the beat-drop is mainly what stands out. Nonetheless it is still a soothing track for trying to induce a little nostalgia, but not on a car ride.

Julia ⭑⭑

Just looking at the title reminded me of Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Julien’ from Dedicated, but ‘Julia’ is way less upbeat and fun, and the lyrics fall short. Lauv’s hopeless-romantic personality definitely shines bright blue on this track, but unfortunately, it doesn’t stand out and is another skipper. 

Modern Loneliness ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Lauv has stated that this was his most important song and it shows! This final track talks about a very important theme: the modern way of being lonely. All the lyrics are honest and amazing, but the chorus is the best: sad and uplifting at the same time, curing your depression-type of feel. A very exhilarating song to end the album.

‘‘Modern loneliness, we’re never alone but always depressed. Modern loneliness, we love to get high but we don’t know how to come down.’’

 

AnyDecentMusic: 71/100

Metacritic: 67/100

Medium: 78/100

 

Cover: Danny Cao

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Danny Cao
Danny was raised in the Netherlands after his family immigrated from Vietnam. Coming into contact with injustice, prejudice, and identity early on in his childhood, he heavily incorporated these themes into his writing and storytelling, whether fiction or fact. He also loves reading, media entertainment and languages, and is constantly inspired by creativity and nostalgia. He writes mostly about pop culture, such as film and music, and ties this heavily to social issues - from true romance to future revolutions - anything is possible.

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