With an ambitious title comes an ambitious record. MUNA’s sophomore studio album is a collection of emotionally mature tracks that see them moving away from the reflective sad-pop that their debut album ‘About U’ introduced. Showing a bolder and confident side to the Los Angeles three piece, MUNA aren’t afraid to get more vulnerable and empathetic with ‘Saves The World’. Opening with the brief piano ballad ‘Grow’, they share their recent understanding and their want to grow within themselves. Leading into the anthemic ‘Number One Fan’ they reflect on the unhealthiness of social media and why it’s important to love yourself and be your number one fan before all else. “Oh my God like, I’m your number one fan. So iconic, like big, like stan, like I would give my life just to hold your hand. I’m your number one fan”. There’s an experimental pop production that uplifts this song and helps add to the playful and empowering vibe it creates.
Soaked in synths ‘Stayaway’ is the break-up anthem you need if you are the heartbreaker. It talks about realising the importance of letting go if it’s not working and not being hard on yourself because of that. In contrast, ’Who’ follows them watching someone move on that they still loved. With dreamy synths this song really embraces those emotions in a beautiful way. Explaining how the love they shared never seemed reciprocated she asks for clarification during the chrous. “I need to know who, who. Who are you singing about?”. But during the bridge she confronts the truth. “And it was like a dream to hear such a sweet melody. But I knew it was not for me”. It’s such a heartbreaking realisation but it’s also so relatable for listeners who have suffered unrequited love.
There are a lot of reflective emotions throughout the record like ‘Navy Blue’, ‘Pink Light’ and ‘Taken’ which are full of sweet harmonies. Some of the arrangement reminds me of The Corrs early 2000s material which were so in-depth and beautifully harmonised. But then you have songs like ‘Never’ which embrace the motions of dancing and crying at the same time the way that Robyn so eloquently does. With lyrics like; “I don’t know if I like songs, I think maybe I was wrong. To think I could make it hurt less with a chorus sing-along” you will immediately fall in love with their honest commentary and gladly feeling all of your emotions.
Switching the feelings up again, ‘Hands Off’ is a bop and a half that will have you dancing like crazy before ‘Good News (Ya Ya Song) is the nostalgic pop track you were waiting for that will be a great singalong in their live show.
From start to finish MUNA have executed a strong sophomore album that hears them finding themselves as songwriters and specifying what they want to talk about as artists.