CRY MFER by My Idea album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions



My Idea

“You’re a blur / cause there’s water in my eyes / And I’m a joke / cause I’m crying all the time” Lily Konigsberg sings in her mumbly but breathy voice on their debut album, CRY MFER, out on the label Hardly Art this week. The album does go by in a bit of a blur (that’s from the last track on the album), though it is packed full of a sort of goofy genius and a lot of references to crying. The album comes a year after their critically acclaimed debut EP, That’s My Idea, and finds them even more in their element, crafting playful indie pop songs that counter much of the indie world’s seriousness right now.

But it’s not without its drama—written during a rough patch in her friendship with creative partner Nate Amos, but a fruitful and prolific time for the duo, creatively, nonetheless. “OUCH / I was needing something,” they sing on the album opener and title track, a familiar phrase for anyone who’s been alive for any amount of time. “Still, I’m sorry I made you cry / Tears on my face tryna give you a sign.”

The album contains elements of some of the best indie progenitors like Elliot Smith (on “Baby I’m the Man”) and Liz Phair (on “One Tree Hell.”) But mostly it is all their own: if they were to give a label to their type of music, they say, it would be “Truth or Dare Pop.” The ad-libs are genius, even punctuating a pause with a juicy burp on the sweet, Minimalist jam, “Lily’s Phone,” one of the catchiest songs on the album.

They are unashamedly in love with artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, and the pop element of their rock music is the most successful ingredient of this impressive outfit. They even use a vocoder on the chill jam, “Breathe You.” “I don’t wanna be outside / I just want to breathe you /Something in the way you move /Just makes me want to suck you up.” With a number of references to hooking up, it is an album to soundtrack the lust and love of our lives. But more than that, it is an album of self-healing.

It goes by in a blur, both because the average length of a song is two minutes and thirty seconds, and because you get lost in its bubblegum rock. But unlike bubblegum, this album will still have flavor after multiple listens. They are expertly crafted rock/pop songs that sounded like a hell of a lot of fun to make. There is a great deal of range on the album, though it works brilliantly as one cohesive whole, even including, in the digital version, two remakes of the opening song and vocoder single, “Breathe You.” Long live the full album format!

Order CRY MFER by My Idea HERE


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