Favorite Track: "Affluenza" Least Favorite Track: "Wish You Were Sober"
Historically, pop music hasn’t been the most topically ambitious. Similar sounding, love based, narratives usually dominate the space for years at a time. On his new debut studio album, Kid Krow, Conan Grey finds a comfortable space between riding the line of the mainstream and finding subject matters that remain fresh. Upon first listen I ignorantly assumed that Kid Krow would be a stereotypical “different”, “off-beat” pop album void of any depth or substance. However, after surpassing the first couple of songs I quickly became accustomed with and fond of Grey’s fun mix of pop, rock, and indie. The intro, “Comfort Crowd”, is a strong opener, with its subdued bassline and interesting discussion of social anxiety. Then, for whatever reason the album seems to take a bit of a nose-dive with the next two tracks being what I perceive to be some of the weakest with “Wish You Were Sober”, and “Maniac”. I personally find them both to be some of the most stereotypical pop writing that Conan displays on Kid Krow, but luckily the album is all uphill from that point. Many of these songs can only be properly described as “fun”, which is a stark contrast from the abusive circumstances in which Conan Grey grew up in. Yet, I sense that part of his goal with this project is to provide the listener with an experience that is relatable yet the opposite of what he grew up around. He provides slight nods to his childhood within the outro “The Story” as well as track #8: “Affluenza”, The latter of which is most likely my favorite cut on the whole record. It discusses the extreme wealth that Grey is surrounded with among his peers in his new home of Los Angeles and draws a contrast to the poverty which he experienced throughout his adolescence. New artists often attempt to overcomplicate their debut project. On Kid Krow Conan Grey proves that sometimes simplicity serves for the best introduction. You won't leave this album with a conceptual question mulling about within your brain, but Grey finds strength within his playful and quirky sound as well as re-introduction of beaten topics with a new perspective. With what seems like little effort, Kid Krow hits on all cylinders.