LANY’s new album evokes nostalgia for childhood memories, past loves

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Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

‘mama’s boy’ is the third studio album by LANY. They have collaborated with other artists such as Julia Michaels and Lauv.

On Oct. 2, LANY released their fourth album, “mama’s boy.” The album prefaces with an upbeat love letter that is for no one in particular and anyone at all.

The ambiguity of the song “you!” has a plethora of meanings that could be interpreted by those who hear lead singer Paul Klein’s passion. He sings beautiful clichès like “you’re the sun to the moon,” “the light in the dark” and “the arrow through my heart,” all simple imagery when it comes to love. 

Klein is notorious for writing heartbreaking ballads that feel as if they belong in a dream. “mama’s boy” stands on its own, apart from LANY’s other albums. Instead of heartbreak, the driving force behind each melody is the sense of home Klein portrays as he becomes transparent with who he is and where he comes from. 

Klein reveals more about himself in “mama’s boy” than in any of the band’s other albums as he opens up about his roots as a southern boy from Oklahoma. In track “cowboy in LA,” Klein reveals how he was raised through his differences.

From the way he treats women to how he wants special moments in solitude rather than in a crowd, Klein reveals himself as a sensitive, old fashioned cowboy who likes to “take it slow” and stay true to what his mama taught him. “Oklahoma, you made a man out of me.”  

Klein touches on every kind of relationship in this album from his relationship with his Oklahoma roots, to his parents and unhealthy love. He even mentions his relationship with spirituality. 

On track “i still talk to jesus,” Klein addresses his past and confesses things recognized as sin in the church he grew up in. “I may not believe it, but I still talk to jesus,” he sings. Although Klein’s beliefs have changed, he recognizes the power of prayer while paying homage to another aspect of his childhood. 

There is a juxtaposition between Klein’s childhood and the love he has for his parents to what he learned from the past and his struggles with love in the present. “mama’s boy”  is Klein’s story. He doesn’t hold anything back and reveals more than heartbreak.Sonically, “mama’s Boy” is the combination of nostalgia and wishful thinking, which feels warm and familiar. Klein said it best on an Instagram post announcing the album: “an early October sunset.” — something to be relived and enjoyed like a childhood memory.

Even though Klein mentions heartbreak, a hopeful feeling stays. It’s something more valuable than the somber notes of a love lost, a recurring theme in LANY’s past albums. 

What Klein presents to listeners is something that will “get better with age,” as he said. He told fans that he wanted to create “an album that would have a place in culture no matter what’s “cool” at the moment, a body of work that got better with every listen.” 

“mama’s boy” is an ode to life and the love that comes with living it. With its dreamy vibe and honest lyrics, the album takes listeners on a journey.