Young the Giant’s senior album Mirror Master signals a new maturity for the band

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Over the years, I’ve only minorly been a fan of the band Young the Giant, vaguely following their performances and their song releases. Because of this, for me, finding out three months later that they had just dropped another album felt like no surprise. However, upon listening to the album Mirror Master, I definitely began to wish that I had stumbled upon it earlier.

Much more optimistic than previous albums, Mirror Master shows a renewed sense of maturity and love for life, something that is embodied in vastly more vulnerable lyrics. Additionally, with it being their senior album, I was pleasantly surprised to hear fresh material that simultaneously featured their signature sound while also straying from the alternative/rock norm. Interchanging between moody melodies and upbeat rock songs, Young the Giant has continued their legacy in this new album with varied melodies, tempos, and rhythms while still remaining under the same umbrella of honest lyrics and transparency with listeners.

Mirror Master features so many incredible songs, but I’d have to say that some of my favorites are “Heat of the Summer,” “Oblivion,” “Tightrope,” and “Mirror Master.” And while the sounds and arrangements are works of art in and of themselves, the true depth of Mirror Master can be found in the lyrics

Skipping to the fourth song on the album, “Heat of the Summer” is the ultimate song for summertime, contrary to the album’s October release. Strangely enough, it perfectly blends the feeling of complete freedom with an immediate need to bob your head to the driving beat.

The song mainly consists of the lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice and electrifying guitar riffs piercing through the simple drums for the chorus. The meaning of “Heat of the Summer” is much simpler than many of the other songs, as it is the band reminiscing on the stress-free summer days when he had it all together and things were good.

Closely following the summer classic song is “Oblivion.” As ominous as the title is, the song is rather positive, all things considered. In a sense, it’s a commentary on the state of society and what it takes to get ahead. Interestingly, the lyrics completely turn around from this harsh perspective, making the song become more about the flaws that everyone lives out of and how embracing that chaos is a way to grow.

All of “Oblivion” is basically a wall of pure sound, with no breaks and no breathers. On the whole, it sounds like a typical alternative/rock song; but what really differentiates it from the other songs is that quick perspective shift and deep meaning.

Another surprising favorite for me is “Tightrope,” a song that combines the elements of fun and upbeat riffs with the underlying, rebellious message. Gadhia’s clear voice rings through the lively bars of guitar and in and out drum beats. Similarly to the other songs, “Tightrope” also challenges how social norms control people’s lives, maintaining that walking on a tightrope is analogous to how one must always walk along the fine line to perfection.

As the album escalates, it reaches its height of confidence and clarity in the album’s twelfth song “Mirror Master,” spelling out for fans the importance of being the star of your own movie and creating your own destiny. Aside from the corny and almost comical message of the song, the lyrics are beautifully simple in pointing out a clear answer to the existential questions people face about identity and belonging.

For me, it definitely took a double-take to grasp the main theme of “Mirror Master,” but it was such a delightful and optimistic song to wrap up the album. And although the song didn’t receive much attention following Mirror Master’s release, I liked how it contrasted some of the harsher truths revealed in other songs to deliver a much more positive affirmation.

As Mirror Master is Young the Giant’s senior album, throughout, there is an overwhelming feeling that the pieces of the band members’ lives are starting to fall into place. Contrary to most, perfection is not what they strive for, choosing instead to march to the beat of their own drums and chase their own happiness. I really appreciate the underlying messages within Mirror Master that so perfectly work in tandem with Young the Giant’s style of music, and the band’s rawness with their audiences is something I hope other bands also strive for.

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