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Conan Gray’s ‘Superache’ highlights the popstar’s tearful trendiness

Conan Gray’s ‘Superache’ highlights the popstar’s tearful trendiness

Conan Gray’s ‘Superache’ highlights the popstar’s tearful trendiness
July 02
13:00 2022

Conan Gray delivers more painful pop tunes in his new album, “Superache.” This is the singer-songwriter’s sophomore studio album and first release since 2020. It combines tones from previous projects “Kid Krow” and “Sunset Season” to provide even more sorrow-filled songs.

From the opening song “Movies” to the closing track “The Exit,” “Superache” explores personal heartbreak. Gray’s wistful lyrics and forlorn tones convey tales of relationship drama and romantic betrayal. When paired with Gray’s signature whiny high notes, these songs can pack an emotional punch.

Gray has been known for his depressing love anthems since 2020’s “Heather” went viral. Since then, he’s been dubbed by fans as the “Pop Prince of Sad.” His knack for penning pitiful tracks continues to shine in “Superache.” Overall, Gray’s new release provides another cathartic cry album for his young fans experiencing relationship drama.

The production style of “Superache” also shows off Gray’s industry influences. “Superache” includes collaborations with other successful songwriters, like Julia Michaels, who have made their mark on the pop scene. These partnerships are evident throughout the album, allowing it to fit right in with its chart-topping peers. While it may not be genre-defining, “Superache” demonstrates knowledge of how to create a likable pop discography.

“Superache” continues the trend of pop albums focusing on more serious, sad themes rather than peppy bubblegum pop. Many tracks could fit right in on other top pop albums, like Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR.” However, unlike some of his fellow pop stars, the background behind Gray’s delivery seems less genuine and real.

Most of Gray’s themes come across as empty theatrics. These could seem disingenuous for several reasons. Perhaps it’s the repetitiveness of it all. It may be the lack of believability, as Gray has claimed he’s never even dated before. 

Regardless, it seems he has still not grown past his high school yearnings, even at 23. Where Gray does show growth, however, is in his newfound vulnerable candor.

What’s different about “Superache” is its eighth song, “Family Line.” Rather than typical poppy hits revolving around love and friendships, Gray offers a hard-hitting take on toxic family dynamics. The exploration of this subject gives a unique vulnerability at the center of the album.

Gray has often said his main inspirations hail from music icon Taylor Swift and other close peers, like Rodrigo. Like Gray, these two have made a name for themselves from tragic lyrics and vulnerable anthems. However, these are mainly based on failed, lost romances. Other emotional pop songs are told through outward or fictional points of view, with no first-hand connection.

The lack of nuanced allusions in “Family Line” is what makes the song Gray’s strongest. Painful details, like his dad’s abusive behavior and his mother’s manipulation, are purposefully included. By hearing such accounts of his family background and upbringing, the audience witnesses Gray’s most vulnerable, truthful testimony.

This personal lens is what sets him apart from those in his comfort crowd. Unlike many of his peers, Gray takes a step past the heartbreak of romantic relationships to that of familial ones. By revealing dynamics not normally unsheathed by young pop stars, he gives a naked look at his complexity as an artist.

Overall, most of the tracks found in “Superache” are not too different from previous albums. However, Gray’s growth in complexity demonstrates how he could progress as an artist. This promise leaves listeners wondering how much deeper Gray is willing to dive into his next projects.

Gray has already seen early success with “Superache” single “Memories,” and the trend is sure to continue. While the artist may seemingly be stuck in the past on some tracks, his continuous popularity and success promise a bright future. As Gray develops his production and songwriting skills, one can expect him to eventually break into more mature themes. Until then, one can only wait and see when he’ll find the exit. 

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Samantha Thornfelt

Samantha Thornfelt

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