Yung Lean - “Stardust” Album Review
Hip-Hop pioneer Jonatan Leandoer Håstad, better known as Yung Lean, has released a full-length alternative project after two years since his last studio album, “Starz”.
In recent features and works his appeal for growth in the composition is evident, but “Stardust” and its 12 tracks embody something new, something fresh.
The album, officially released on April 8, was first teased on March 25 through the song and music video “Trip”, a psychedelic, melodic journey consumed by humming and distorted vocals orbiting a topic of heartbreak and the bipolarity inside relationships.
Love is a common theme in Lean's music, but in this project, he is direct about what he wants, in a lustful sense. His delivery is more comfortable and nonchalant than usual and even though he remains true to a monotone delivery, he floats through tracks with charismatic lyrics.
From the jump, the album strikes as Lean’s attempt to submerge into his deepest sense of maturity by demonstrating growing passions and desires. With multiple layers of vocals, radio-like presets and engineering that is sympathetic to the instrumental, this project deserves some real attention.
“Bliss” featuring FKA twigs is an indie-pop radio hit. The track has all the substance necessary and will likely represent Lean’s current contribution to music outside of his fanbase. Twigs’ vocals contribute dearly to the rugged instrumental and kickstart the versatility of the tracklist.
Songs such as “Gold” and “All the things” function as a break from the fruitful tracks and features. They backtrack to his earlier works in both “Starz” and “Stranger” but continue to articulate Lean’s neediness and newfound character.
In “Starz2therainbow” and “SummerTime Blood”, the features, members of the musical group Drain Gang, embed a sweetness into dominating instrumentals composed of synths, and the minds of producers Ssaliva, Fredrik Okazaki and Skrillex.
Not to cover every track, but “Lips” and “Waterfall”, although opposites in pacing, both dictate Lean’s erotic vocal display. The freshness previously described - the shift from his early years of unclear boasting, to depictions of a mental dilemma and arriving today to his embodiment of manhood and role as a musical icon.
Even though they may take time, his major releases are and will remain visually and audibly captivating. Stardust is simply a clear reminder of the creative genius that is Yung Lean.
Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Bliss”, “Starz2therainbow”,”Lips”, and “SummerTime Blood”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “All the things” and “Letting it all go”
Juan Mendez is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second-year / Journalism
Juan S. Mendez is a second-year student from Sogamoso, Colombia majoring in journalism at Penn State University. He is a frequent CommRadio contributor through play-by-play and production for Penn State sports, primarily soccer. As a writer and podcast member, he also contributes in covering the NFL, NBA, international soccer, college sports, and occasional music reviews. Bilingual, and with a substantially dispersed knowledge, Juan intends to work covering multiple sports internationally in English and Spanish at a professional level.