ALBUM REVIEW: MUNA's Saves The World
MUNA is back to save the world (and the music industry) with the release of their sophomore album, Saves The World.
Made up of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson, MUNA is an electric pop band that makes music for the soft at heart. They make you want to dance even when they’re tugging at your heartstrings, or they have you take a break and just listen.
After releasing their debut album About U in 2017, they toured as the opening act for Harry Styles’ theater tour. MUNA then took their time writing new music. In an Instagram post on MUNA’s account, they explain that “the writing and recording and living that went into this album occurred over the two most trying, transformative, thrilling, difficult, and ultimately important years in all of our lives”. It is clear from their first release to now that their music is genuine and full of heart. Both albums have been very personal, but it doesn’t stop their 800,000+ Spotify listeners from being able to relate.
Saves The World is a 12 track album that showcases the growth and depth of MUNA. For the band, “this album runs the gamut of emotions and subject matter but the through line is perhaps that we’re trying very earnestly to tell the truth and not stand in our own way”. Each song has a different emotion that grasps your heart. They teach the listener something new. Every track tells a different story. From track one to track twelve, it’s a journey through MUNA’s past two years.
The first track, “Grow,” is less than 2 minutes, but it perfectly encapsulates MUNA’s goal that they worked towards over the last two years: change. They recognized that as they were growing up, things would be different—and they yearned for it. The first lyric of the album is, “I want to grow up.”
The next three tracks — “Number One Fan,” “Stayaway,” and “Who” — were released as singles. “Number One Fan” tells the story of loving oneself, even if you’re being encouraged by others not to. With a fast beat, catchy lyrics that include “stan language”, it is impossible to stand still to this song. “Stayaway” is a heartbreaking story of leaving someone, and then learning that leaving is the easiest part. Not going back, according to MUNA, is the hardest part. Though the lyrics and the lesson are sad, the music accompanying this piece has a fun beat that carries us through the story as the melancholic realization sets in. “Who” is the slowest of the three singles; it packs a punch as Gavin’s vocals come in acapella at first, with a soft synth beat that grows and grows as Gavin becomes more desperate to know “who, who, who are you singing about?” Saves The World is full of synth-rock beats that contribute to the overall feeling each track is attempting to encapsulate. (Spoiler alert: They’re all amazing).
The final track, “It’s Gonna Be Okay, Baby”, is the perfect ending to Saves The World. Over 5 minutes long, track 12 finishes the story of growing up, coming full circle. The final track is an electronic pop banger with a vocal effect over Gavin’s vocals. The overall aesthetic of the song creates a nostalgic feel, as if you are the one reminiscing on these memories, all the while reminding yourself that it’s gonna be okay. According to the post on their Instagram, “the title of this record came from a willingness to step into the role as our own saviors, and possibly as mediums through which an important message might pass”. As Gavin reminds herself that it’s gonna be okay, she also reminds the listeners it’s gonna be okay—no matter what you have or haven’t been through.
This impactful album was the culmination of two years of hard work, during which “there were points where we all wanted to quit on ourselves and on each other”, MUNA writes. Thankfully, they created a work of art that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who listens to it.
You can stream Saves The World on multiple platforms now.