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Arts in Review

Young the Giant touches on our vulnerability with Mirror Master

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Everybody has that vulnerable side. We all know that we’re not perfect, and we do have flaws. Sometimes you find you are constantly reflecting on yourself and your interaction with other people. You realize there are so many personas within you, and that at the end of the day the person you find most difficult to understand turns out to be yourself. Young The Giant face that idea in their newest record, Mirror Master, a stripped-down and personal album that really digs deep.

Describing the overall thesis for Mirror Master, vocalist Sameer Gadhia explains there are different dimensions within ourselves. In the time of technology and social media, we’re always conscious of what persona we choose to display. This album is concerned with how we have different separations within ourselves, and how we struggle to define ourselves at a time when people always try to put each other in a box culturally, socially, and politically. Gadhia insists that we don’t have to be a certain thing and that we take pride in different sides of who we are.  

The album begins with “Superposition,” which brings the record to a chill start. It’s one of those songs you listen to and unconsciously conjure the image of a constellation in your head. A superposition is a state of infinite potential, just like a galaxy or a healthy relationship. The slightly upbeat “Heat of the Summer” describes the summers of youth, when you are desperate to explore but struggle to seize control of your life.

On the other hand, the album shines brightest when it forces us to wrestle with different personas that we put forth on a daily basis. “Call Me Back” is subtle, understanding yet heartbroken at the same time. It’s about the vulnerability of adolescence, a state where you constantly wonder and find yourself on a roller coaster of emotions. Similarly, standout track “Oblivion” melts away into fragiality via a raucous, building instrumental that invites listeners to embrace their biggest fears en route to growth. “Darkest Shade of Blue” lends a comforting hand to those experiencing anxiety and depression, which Gadhia says everyone harbours.

Mirror Master beautifully deals with our internal self and conveys the struggle of taking authorship of our life, as Gadhia said. The albums reminds me of a saying: you are not a speck of dust in the universe, but there is an entire universe within you. You can’t have control of other people, but you have control of your own reflection, how you treat people, and how you choose to walk through this life.

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