by Victoria Goodwin
Suggest Tracks: “Mama Said”, “Better Than Yourself (Criminal Mind Pt 2)”, “You’re Not There”
It would be a lie if I said that I hadn’t used up a lot of –okay maybe all of – my data streaming Lukas Graham’s upcoming self title release, Lukas Graham. The band, comprised of 4 members – Lukas Graham (vocals), Mark Falgren (drums) Magnus Larsson (bass), and Kasper Daugaard (keyboard) – is ready to take the world by storm with their first full length release. Compiled of 11 songs, the album has the perfect mix of soul, pop, piano, and emotion to their songs.
The lead track of this album is debatably Lukas Graham’s most popular song inside and outside of the United States. “7 Years” is a traveling journey into Lukas’ past growing up in Denmark and taking a glance towards the achievements he hopes to accomplish in the future. “Mama Said” is another song that takes a peek into Graham’s past as he talks about how even though he didn’t have it all growing up, he still had enough. With a very similar sound to “Hard Knock Life” from the original movie Annie, it’s hard to not get addicted to this song.
With the strong piano, slight drumming, and expressive emotion behind Graham’s voice, “Better Than Yourself (Criminal Mind Pt 2)” is tied with being my favorite on Lukas Graham’s album. This song is a sequel of Criminal Mind (released in 2012), a song about Lukas’ friend being in jail. “Better Than Yourself” explains that even though this friend is in jail that he is still Lukas’ friend and that though he may not be there with him, that he is experiencing the hurt too – stating “you’re not alone in that hell”. A statement that anyone who has personally known someone in jail knows to be true.
“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me” has a soulful energy to the track that sets itself apart from the rest of the album. The song simply saying “don’t you worry about me, I’ll be alright”, as the title suggests. This song and my personal favorite from the album go hand-in-hand for the similarities it carries through the songs – especially about his dad. “You’re Not There”, is a heartfelt track dedicated to his father. Though his dad isn’t there to share in his success, he owes a lot of what he is to him. He mentions how it isn’t fair that his dad will never know the man he made or share his success or mistakes but it doesn’t mean Lukas has forgotten about him. Truly, it’s quite the opposite since Lukas’ songs mostly mention his father once somewhere.
“Drunk In The Morning” is a track in which R&B, pop, a little bit of soul, with an even slighter hint of brass had a baby. A song about just that; being drunk at 5 in the morning, who are you going to call? “Strip No More”, the a cousin track to “Drunk In The Morning”, is a more upbeat-poppy song about innocently falling for a stripper.
“Take The World By Storm” with Lukas as he’s imagining traveling through life not knowing where he wants to go or be, but knowing he wants to experience all life throws at him or let Lukas express to you how he is still human no matter the fame brought to him in the strong piano-driven song, “Happy Home”.
Closing off the album with “Funeral”, a slow piano based song, Lukas expresses that when it’s his ‘time to go’ he doesn’t want people to be sad for him, but instead live it up because that is what he would want. He lived a great life and is watching from above.
After the 40 minute album, you aren’t left feeling like something is missing. Lukas Graham was sure to include all the elements it takes to create one of the greatest albums I have seen thus far into the year (and maybe 2015, too). With the soul, pop, piano, R&B vibe, you are left feeling like Lukas has told you a story of his life and making you feel like you are apart of something bigger than just what is in front of you. 4.5/5 Stars! Not because this album isn’t close to perfect and deserve 5 stars (because it does), but because I believe their next album will top this one.