Young the Giant: Mirror Master
review by reese gorman
The new Young the Giant record, Mirror Master, is 12 tracks of artistic genius. This record was written about individuals in society today and how we are lost, lost in the sense of self. We listen to how the world tells us to dress, think, act, and what to believe in. We are told where we belong in the world and we listen. This album is about breaking that mold, breaking out of society and becoming our true selves.
Opening the record with "Superposition," this track tells a story we all know too well, unreciprocated love. Loving someone and knowing they don't feel the same is one of the worst feelings. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia uses scientific metaphors to express the love he feels for this woman. Using terms like "Dark Star" to explain that he can't escape her pull, he constantly is just falling more and more in love with her. Superposition in-and-of-itself is a scientific metaphor, using it to describe that they were bound to meet. In an interview with Broadway World Sameer explains Superposition, "Each decision splits into a myriad of mirrors; a system of lines that enlace, tangle, and intersect. But in everyone, you and I were bound to meet." There was no avoiding it, they were always going to meet.
"Simplify, "Call Me Back," and "Heat of Summer" are the three next songs, and they all carry on the love talked about in "Superposition." The first of those being "Simplify," talks about how they're love has become overly complicated. They have let the world and people around them influence their relationship, now he wants that to stop. He wants their relationship to "Simplify" back to the point where it was just them two in love. "Call Me Back" shows us that the love he hoped for in "Simplify" didn't happen. She left him holding onto all these empty promises and him begging for her to come back. In "Heat of the Summer" Gadhia sings about how he coped with the breakup. Through the summer he focused on the negatives of his life, instead of taking in all the beauty around him.
The next four songs are just him losing faith in humanity. In "Oblivion" he gets on this dark path of losing his identity. He has depended so long on another person he can't make his own decisions or path for his life. The worst point of the album is in "Brother's Keeper." He sings about how he sits and just mopes in his sorrow, "Sometimes I just stare into space, watch through all the film of my mistakes, I just can't help myself." It's something everyone goes through after a breakup, we look through and reflect on everything we did wrong in our past relationship. "Glory" is about redemption from God. He is starting to break free of these chains of the past relationship. He feels free to the point where he doesn't have to be what the world wants him to be. He can truly be himself and find his own path in this world.
The next song on the record is "Panoramic Girl," which has this The Fray feel to it, in the sense that the instrumental is powerful and reflective of the lyrics but not overpowering the meaning behind the song. In this song, he sings about his past life with this girl and how everything has faded to memory. He thinks about what could've been had they worked out, "Photographic soul, stitch together pieces of a life I'll never know, panoramic girl, you are just a memory that lives inside my dreams."
Come to "You + I" he seems to have a more fearful approach when it comes to relationships. Being more realistic and not getting ahead of himself, he becomes weary and skeptical when it comes to promising himself to a girl.
The final track on the record leaves us with a sense of hope for his future. "Mirror Master" is about how he finally takes over his own life. He comes to the realization that if he lets anyone but himself be "lead actor" in his life then it will end in disappointment. Despite what culture and society say, he is going to live how he intends to. He’s not going to worry about anyone else's opinion and finally take back control of his life.
This record by Young the Giant is a masterpiece. The way they write about complex struggles people endure throughout their life gives us a deeper look into what it means to truly love and be human. Young the Giant outdid themselves with this one.