Youth Lagoon: Savage Hills Ballroom Review

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By Allison Belcher
Music Reviewer

savage hills ballroomArtist: Youth Lagoon
Album: Savage Hills Ballroom
Label: Fat Possum
Release Date: September, 25, 2015

Youth Lagoon is back at it again, this time with a third release full length album titled, Savage Hills Ballroom. The recently known dream-pop and psychedelic-pop sounds of Youth Lagoon (also known as Trevor Powers) has been replaced with a much rawer and emotional tone. More focus has been brought to the lyrics and singing rather than instrumental use, differing from his previous albums The Year of Hibernation and Wonderous Bughouse. Youth Lagoon has withdrawn from their previous style, which had heavy synthesizer use and soft sounding reverb. Vocals were used as an enhancing accompaniment to the beautiful instrumentals Powers put focus on in his first two albums. In Savage Hills Ballroom, Powers’ lyrics tell more of a story, giving listeners a glimpse into Powers’ struggles and thought process.Powers pours his sensitive soul into his songs on Savage Hills Ballroom, invoking a much deeper and serious feel when listening. “The Knower” gives listeners a more vulnerable and raw feel when concentrating on lyrical aspects — “Oh, everybody wants to feel like they’re good at heart / when they’re so full of hate” — a big change for Youth Lagoon when compared to older album’s carefree and basic lyrics. Powers has grown from spacious, dream-pop tones and has poured more of his soul and emotions into his songs. While the overall sound and style is a different approach for Youth Lagoon, the genuinity and raw emotions that Powers has brought to Savage Hills Ballroom deserves applause.

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