Lola Young- This Wasn’t Meant For You Anyway album review- Magnetic up and comer bares the high and (mainly) the lows

by | Music

Review by Ameena Ceesay

Singer- songwriter Lola Young has been on the incline since debuting in 2019; made remarkable considering she’s still a relatively young name in the game right now. The steady stream of new releases has brought us to the launch of a brand new album, and while Young protests that it wasn’t meant for us, we can certainly say that we are glad we’ve heard it nonetheless. 

the singles

Of the assortment of singles, Conceited, having been released last September, has gone on to become one of Young’s most popular in her discography. And for good reason. As soon as that funk baseline hits, it immediately grips you, and it’s the baritone vocals and the sharp, witty and unapologetic lyrics that keeps a hold. “And I’m sick of your puppy eyes/You said boys should never cry/Well, surprise, I bet no one’s ever told you.” You buy that she’s fed up with her lover and we are on her side. This is the best song on the album (saved for Fuck– another single with an intoxicating instrumental ) in addition to sonically being a change of pace. 

Almost serves as a prelude

to Conceited

Wish You Were Dead, lyrically, almost serves as a prelude to Conceited, setting the scene of the toxic dynamic between Young and her lover before she starts to break away in Conceited. “When you come around, I’ll wear red/I’ll forget all the awful things you said.” As a song, it’s interesting that Young is (or was) more synonymous with RnB because this seems very in tune with modern indie, I.e Suki Waterhouse or girl in red, especially by the chorus.  It’s well put together, but it’s no stand out. 

“This is a slow, acoustic number

done right.”

Doubly so is Big Brown Eyes– similar to Wish You Were Dead, but it’s stripped of the backing arrangements that made it intriguing. Acoustic guitar takes over, but it in turn lessens the impact that was felt previously (Same goes for the final single of the album- Good Books. It again brings back the indie elements but isn’t as interesting to listen to). 

Then again, it’d be hard for anyone to go 4 for 4 given the brilliant singles that came before, among them being Intrusive Thoughts. This is a slow acoustic number done right, as the instrumentals fits the pain and apprehension expressed in the lyrics. It also serves to bring things down a notch, as the previous singles operate as bops to sing and dance erratically to.

“It features some of the best songwriting

in the album”

Messy, so easily could’ve been another forgettable number, however it features some of the best songwriting in the album. The way in which Young conveys her lover blowing hot and cold really resonates. If anything, the unimpressive instrumental brings more attention to the lyrics which works to its benefit in this instance. 

a satisfying ending

For the rest of the album, Crush is one to pop on rotation solely for the pre-chorus. But if you were wanting a conclusion to the Conceited/Wish You Were Dead saga, Walk On By is a satisfying ending. She’s done, she’s ready to move on, and we’re ready to see Lola Young’s career reach new heights. 

There is a lot to love about this album. Great lyricism and variety. You want a decent break up ballad? Walk On By has you covered. A confessional about overthinking? Intrusive Thoughts is the one. Not every song knocks it out of the park but the good far outweighs the bad and it’s worthy of a listen. 

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