Malibu Nights decent, disappointing


McKenna Zacher, Managing

California-based LANY is back with a new nine-track album, released only a little over a year from their previous self-titled project. Every track on Malibu Nights is about one thing: lead singer Paul Klein’s January breakup with fellow artist, Dua Lipa. Taking a six month break from social media, Klein helped bring this album to fruition as his way to heal the wounds from the two’s split.

The album has its moments of brilliance, but ultimately suffers from repetition. The opening track “Thick and Thin” starts the album off right: a catchy instrumental, lyrics the listener is able to sing along to easily and a good performance by Klein.

I find myself only listening to the chorus on full blast, belting the lyrics. It is a catchy synth-pop tune that right at home with LANY’s sound.

The next two tracks “Taking Me Back” and “If You See Her” continue what “Thick and Thin” started, upbeat tunes and scream-worthy lyrics. “If You See Her” especially highlights the newer LANY sound, which is more poppy in nature, while incorporating their usual sounds as well. “Taking Me Back” is the catchier of the two and is one of my favorite songs of the album because of how easy is it sing along to. It’s also one of Klein’s best vocal performances on the album.

“I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore,” the album’s fourth track, is equally as catchy as the last two tracks. The song is bittersweet – juxtaposing the upbeat instrumental with argumentally heartbreaking lyrics. Klein talks about how, allegedly, Lipa sprung their breakup on him quickly and that is still weighing on him. He has to remind himself that it is over, which why he is working on moving on, this idea embodied in the main phrase of the chorus “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore.”

Malibu Nights overall is a decent album, but was a little disappointing in its delivery.

— McKenna Zacher

Where the album began to felt repetitive for me are the fifth and sixth tracks. “Let Me Know” and “Run” have boring, slower instrumentals and the theme of Klein’s breakup begins to run its course, with repeated themes stated in all of the previous tracks. These issues, mixed with Klein’s weakest vocals, make these tracks the most disappointing.

Following the weakest tracks comes my favorite of the album: “Valentine’s Day.” While this was not an immediate favorite, it is one that always sticks out to me when listening to the album now. It introduces a new theme: Klein’s struggle to move on from his previous relationship and how he finds himself comparing each new love in his life to Lipa.

The lyrics are introspective and real, which makes it a standout in my opinion. The soft piano mixed with synth is calming and adds to the meaning of the lyrics. It stays interesting my switching up halfway through the song, adding drums and a haunting guitar riff.

The eighth song of the album, “Thru These Tears,” is decent, but face the same problems as “Let Me Know” and “Run” have: repetitive lyrics and boring instrumentals. The bridge is the best part of the song, with different and interesting vocals from the rest of the song, but the rest of it falls flat on some levels.

The final song on Malibu Nights, however is one of the best. Klein’s vocals are able to shine, only a piano and his voice for most of the song. It does what “Valentine’s Day” does well, as it has a new theme explored: Klein’s struggle to deal with breakup on his own and how he had to get himself of the darkness himself. It is a beautiful way to end the album and works as a conclusion to the whole album exploration of Klein’s heart.

Malibu Nights overall is a decent album, but was a little disappointing in its delivery. I recommend listening to if it you have liked previous LANY albums, but if not then I suggest listening to their other works first.