Conan Gray released the soundtrack of the summer at the end of last month with his debut studio album “Kid Krow.” The album has already been deemed successful: the top single “Maniac” has been streamed over 100 million times.
This praise is deserving. Gray proves to be a leading voice in a new generation of pop music. The varied beats combined with Gray’s own lyrics creates a standout sound in the genre, which, in modern times, is a difficult task.
There were a few singles teased before the album officially dropped, which includes “Wish You Were Sober,” “Comfort Crowd” and “Maniac.” “Maniac” proves to be a fan favorite as it has achieved gold status. The single is most commonly referenced on the app TikTok, where the song is repeatedly used as the backtrack to videos shared by young audiences around the world.
While the album includes themes of alcohol and love through each track, the vulnerability gives it balance. Gray opens up about his childhood in “The Story” with lyrics describing his parents as “evil” when he was younger. This track ends the album with the final lyric: “It's not the end of the story” leaving fans wanting to hear more from the artist, hopefully in the near future.
The album has received praise from popstar Taylor Swift, an artist that Gray considers an inspiration for his sound.
On Swift’s Instagram Story during the week of the release of “Kid Krow,” she captioned a photo of the album cover with, "Obsessed with this whole album, but THIS SONG ["Wish You Were Sober"] RIGHT HERE is a masterpiece. Not trying to be loud but this will be on repeat for my whole life."
The music is seamless and Gray’s voice is incomparable, but perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of “Kid Krow” is the artwork.
He is best known now for his musical career, but Gray was originally noted for his talent with physical forms of art. His YouTube videos of him displaying art, from fashion to presenting his top scoring AP art portfolio, are still the most popular videos on his channel. His videos total nearly 200 million views.
Gray not only has designed all of his own merchandise, but he has also created beautiful lyric videos containing his artwork for every song on the debut album, and they were all released on his Youtube channel the day of the album’s release.
Gray is multi talented, and he demonstrates this with his vocal ability, his songwriting, and the artistry presented throughout the “Kid Krow” release. This is only the beginning for the 21-year-old singer, and his career has already evinced greatness.
5 out of 5 stars