Young Guv - GUV IV Music Album Reviews

Young Guv - GUV IV Music Album Reviews
Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook’s latest installment of power pop ventures into Laurel Canyon and post-punk without clouding its permanent sunshine.

In 2020, a spring tour opening for White Reaper took Ben Cook, aka Young Guv, as far as New Mexico before the live music industry collapsed. With the remaining tour canceled, Cook’s finances devastated, and his apartment in New York already sublet, all he and his band could do was stay put. They spent nine months in New Mexico, holed up in a sustainable Earthship structure with little else to do but write songs.

This detour resulted in two records—Guv III and this one, Guv IV. The songs on Guv III fit Young Guv’s best-known sound: sunny, Britpop-y power pop, driven by Cook’s sweet, earworm melodies. On Guv IV, he branches out. Leisurely harmonies and intermittent slide guitar give “Change Your Mind” a Laurel Canyon feel. “Cry 2 Sleep” is a little bit yacht rock, while “Maybe I Should Luv Somebody Else” adopts a brazen country strut, and “Nervous Around U” whips out the drum machine for dancey post-punk.

As on all Young Guv albums, the music is lovestruck and yearning. Dreams and memory pervade the lyrics; there’s a sense of absence making the heart fonder, perhaps of Cook filling in imperfections with half-constructed memories. It all gives the songs a feeling of distance; they’re dreamy and not quite solid. This mostly works in Young Guv’s favor. He’s an artist who deals in vibes more than real emotional heft. The swagger in his songwriting, and the way his vocals are simultaneously achingly earnest and crisply nonchalant, make the evergreen breakup themes feel classic, not cliché. His best lyrics float on surface level, short and sharp rhymes arranged around a single-line hook. When he ventures into more poetic territory, like on “Change Your Mind” and “Wind in My Blood,” it starts to get a little purple; still, his knack for melody helps.

Sometimes these songs are too insubstantial and simply don’t stick. “Sign From God” is pleasant, but not much else. Sandwiched by more memorable cuts, the restrained tempo and unaffected vocals of “Love Me Don’t Leave Me” drift into the ether. When Cook works within his signature sound, as on Guv III, the familiar and crafted-to-perfection style promises a reliably good time. But his stylistic experiments are spottier, leaving his weaker ideas more exposed. The album’s best twists, like the hazy slow-down of “Change Your Mind” or the antsy grooves of “Nervous Around U,” prove that a more varied Young Guv would work well with tighter editing instead of sprawling double releases. As it is, Guv IV is a fun summer spin, but doesn’t coalesce into the memorable statement a pop songwriter like Cook could be capable of.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Young Guv - GUV IV Music Album Reviews Young Guv - GUV IV Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, July 06, 2022 Rating: 5

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