Lucy Dacus
Home Video


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (54 Reviews)
June 29th, 2021 | 28 replies


Release Date: 06/25/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The future is a benevolent black hole

The three members of the band Boygenius have emerged as the faces of a major strand in the current indie scene. While the three women casually imitated Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the cover of their supergroup’s eponymous album, this review’s introduction will equate them to a different legendary band from rock’s bygone era, The Beatles (stay with me here). In this analogy, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker would definitively occupy the roles of John Lennon and Paul McCartney (which one is which is open to interpretation). Meanwhile, Lucy Dacus, while not without her devoted fans, definitively remains in the shadow of her two contemporaries, lacking the fame and the defining artistic statement her fellows have already garnered. With her third LP, Home Video , though, Dacus has come into her own, suggesting that rather than being cast as Ringo Starr, she may well be Boygenius’ George Harrison (a bright talent who just needed time to bloom, despite being initially forgotten behind more flashy friends).

Speaking as a (casual) fan of Dacus’ first two albums, Home Video is definitively a more cohesive listen than those admittedly spotty efforts. Taken as a whole, it’s a fairly mellow work, leaning more towards singer-songwriter folk while retaining some of the rock edge of her previous material. That said, the brooding grunginess which flavored some of her earlier songs is mostly gone. The overarching concept here is the musician’s reminiscence of her youth in Richmond, Virginia, and the results are a collection of personal vignettes which are at times deeply touching. Lyrically, this is Dacus’ strongest release yet, and at various times they approach brilliance.

Sonically, there’s a variety of elements at play in Home Video . Songs range from the folky guitar of “Going Going Gone” to the dreamy beauty of “Cartwheel” to the driving beat of “First Time”. The opener, “Hot & Heavy” provides a strong start with its suitably Springsteen-esque blend of nostalgia and bombast. There are a few missteps, like the auto tuned vocals of “Partner In Crime” (although that’s nearly redeemed by the powered-up guitar solo halfway through), and more generally the fact that a good chunk of the record’s second half feels a tad more forgettable than the early going. However, when the last notes of the almost-textbook epic closer “Triple Dog Dare” fade out, it’s clear that Home Video is Lucy Dacus’ finest release yet, by a wide margin.

It’s the way of the world that this album will inevitably draw comparisons to Dacus’ compatriots’ most recent efforts. The frequent darkness of the lyrical themes can draw similarities to Little Oblivions , and the mild singer-songwriter tendencies promote associations with Punisher .That said, Home Video is its own beast, a vessel of Dacus’ creativity independent of her sometime bandmates. This record feels less bleak than Little Oblivions and rocks harder than Punisher , and should draw in a wide range of listeners, whether they’re fans of those albums or not. A heartfelt record channeling youthful memories good and bad will always find an audience, and that is what Home Video delivers in spades.



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user ratings (120)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Atari STAFF (4)
A vivid memory reel...

related reviews

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recommended by reviewer
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel like I committed a number of "no nos" in the writing of this review, but going for it anyway!



1) Quoting a lyric for the summary



2) Comparing Boygenius to the Beatles



3) Talking too much about Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker in a Lucy Dacus review



Nonetheless, here it is. Surprised this one didn't have a review yet, feel like this is going to be a big hit. Touching and gorgeous album

SteakByrnes
June 29th 2021


25111 Comments


I can't get into Lucy still, took a while to get into Phoebe and Julien but they both eventually clicked. Lucy just doesn't hit the same way ¯|_(ツ)_/¯

Noice review tho

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks @SteakByrnes!



I've casually liked all three for a while, although Bridgers is definitely my favorite. That said, this is a major step up for Dacus and I think it's likely I'll be getting further into her music with time.

WatchItExplode
June 29th 2021


9344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Rules. Thanks Sunny, ur still crushing it.

Digging: Floating Cloud Music - Love is a Burning Building That Will Suffocate Us

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers @WatchItExplode!



Wouldn't be surprised if this gets a bump to match your score one of these days, feels like a grower.

WatchItExplode
June 29th 2021


9344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is the best thing she's done. Another grungy dust up or two and it could have been classic.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2021


58180 Comments


I didn't care for her last record but I will check cuz boygenius stan

Digging: Penfold - Our First Taste of Escape

Sowing
Moderator
June 29th 2021


39348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feel the same way as Steak in that Lucy never quite won me over. This is another good, solid album from her that didn't necessarily do anything exceptional. Review is top notch though, of course.

Digging: Biffy Clyro - The Myth of the Happily Ever After

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


14791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the single for this was a banger so I gotta check out the rest

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Sowing! Maybe this album will click for you one of these days, feels like something you might love.

bloc
June 29th 2021


66629 Comments


Thought the album cover was a laptop screen with the keyboard showing a bit at the bottom lol

Windows 11 hype or some shit

Digging: Lloyd Banks - The Course of the Inevitable

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2021


26875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice take Sunny 😎 much better than that redundant old atari fellow

Digging: Maxo Kream - Weight Of The World

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


9204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Cool rev man! Same take as Steak and Sowing tho



"1) Quoting a lyric for the summary"

^ chad move tbh, keep on keeping on

Digging: Grouper - Shade

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


3457 Comments


whole review is chad as hell tbf
excited to give this a shot, never rly got into her other stuff

Digging: Slow Crush - Hush

DoofDoof
June 30th 2021


10550 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

She is ‘good’ 3.0

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers all! And an Atari review is never redundant...

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2021


3778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn. I loooveee Partner in Crime and might prefer the back half of this. Very, very nicely written, though. Love all the hype around this. Have pushed my own score up. :3

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


2942 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks @BlushfulHippocrene! To each their own, I certainly do like everything on here (to varying degrees) and it's often the mark of a great album when everyone has different favorite songs/stretches.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2021


26875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"an Atari review is never redundant..."



once you hit the 150+ reviews everything you write feels redundant, lol. but thanks man :] not trying to steal your thunder..

Sowing
Moderator
June 30th 2021


39348 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"once you hit the 150+ reviews everything you write feels redundant"

oh boy do I ever feel this



I'm gonna spin this again today, I feel like my head wasn't in it on the first go-around



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