Yungblud’s "weird!" serves as Gen Z liberation album

On December 9, 2020

Photo courtesy of Stefan Brending, Wikimedia Commons

It’s not very easy to be labeled "weird" in 2020. We’ve seen singers perform in meat dresses, movies with sharks in tornados and memes that get progressively more bizarre every time you refresh your browser.

The point is, we’ve seen a lot. So it’s hard to have a new celebrity break onto the scene and actually make us do a double take. We’re pretty jaded at this point. 

I can only think of a few more recent celebrities that have a true "weird" factor, and Yungblud is one of them. 

Yungblud is the stage name for a 23-year-old British performer Dominic Harrison. His first album “21st Century Liability” was preceded and followed by a number of singles that charted high, such as “Parents,” “11 Minutes (with Halsey)” and “I Think I’ll Be Okay (with Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker).”

He’s burst onto the mainstream music scene and carved his mark with both his music and his personality. His musical ability is incredibly fluid, and he can seamlessly go from hard rock to softer pop to hip-hop without much difficulty. This fluidity also is found in his personal expression.

Yungblud is notorious for his bizarre personal appearance. He often dons more feminine clothing and embraces alternative fashions: wearing bright colors, ripped mesh, chains and other attention-grabbing pieces. 

Yungblud is a true Gen Z celebrity. He is unapologetic and open about his sexuality, beliefs, gripes and maintains an electric energy with every record and single he puts out. His latest album, “weird!” was released on Friday, Dec. 4, and is no exception. The record embodies Gen Z brashness and is designed to make every Boomer in hearing distance instinctively clutch their pearls.

An excellent example of a song that reflects this element is “Cotton Candy." It’s a song about casual sex and sexual liberation. Sex is a touchy subject for many older generations, and Yungblud made this song with the aid of destigmatizing it and letting fans know it is okay to be themselves. 

“weird!” also has a deeply embedded cultural significance. Yungblud has spent a lot of time internationally touring. Due to this, he wanted to hold onto his roots. He’s a very proud English man, and has varied English musical influences in his music (such as the Arctic Monkeys and The Cure). You can see this national pride reflected in songs such as “Strawberry Lipstick” and “Ice Cream Man." Also found in “Ice Cream Man” is a rumination on small town life, and how hard it is to be unique in such a close-minded environment. 

In totality, the album, much like Yungblud himself, is multifaceted and vibrant. Yungblud is a renaissance artist and has a youthful vigor that he uses to try to take on the establishment with all the power he has. His album spans many topics, genres and is a promising sophomore album from an artist who is just getting started in the music industry. 

4/5 stars

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