ALBUM REVIEW: Conan Gray bares all on debut ‘Kid Krow’

On Conan Gray’s debut record, the social media sensation breathes new life into the undying tale of adolescent angst.

Jumping between dancefloor-fillers, bedroom pop and acoustic cuts, Kid Krow makes for an eclectic celebration of youth. Gray muses on heartbreak, anxiety, money and more on a coming-of-age debut effort akin of Troye Sivan‘s Blue Neighbourhood or Lorde’s Pure Heroine.

Whilst Conan Gray may not quite hit the heights of those revered records, there’s a lot to admire on Kid Krow. Viral single ‘Maniac’ is unsurprisingly the pick of the bunch, a fizzing synth-show detailing a destructive relationship. Elsewhere, the playful ‘Checkmate’ keeps proceedings uptempo with tongue-in-cheek warnings of “holding your hand, but in the other one, I’m holding a loaded gun”.

The 21-year-old took to Instagram on release admitting that, “this is everything I’ve ever wanted to say but didn’t. Every secret and insane thought I’ve kept for my closest friends”. A clichéd claim perhaps, but often on Kid Krow, Gray follows through with tales you can’t help but find endearing.

Latest single ‘Wish You Were Sober’ tracks a nervy night at a house party trying to win over a crush, whilst ‘Little League’ is a whirlwind trip around memory lane and assured fan-favourite.

When Gray does cut back on production, tender tracks hit their mark -‘Comfort Crowd’ is a clever opener and ‘The Cut That Always Bleeds’ a melodramatic break-up ballad. The pick of the stripped-back offerings comes as Kid Krow closes on ‘The Story’. “I’m afraid that’s just the way the world works, but I think that it could work for you and me”, Gray ponders in a moment of youthful hopefulness.

A refusal to pigeon-holed is an essential for a pop star in 2020, and on Kid Krow Conan Gray tries it all with confidence. As far as debut offerings come, Gray’s looks to be one of the best of the year. Likening the youngster to messiahs Sivan and Lorde may well not be too outrageous in years to come.

Are you streaming Conan Gray? What’s your favourite track from the album? Let us know @CelebMix on Twitter!

Written by Toby Bryant

Student journalist: music, sport, culture and just about anything in-between… Have worked for The Courier, NME, Daily Mirror, FourFourTwo & British Rowing, amongst others.
@toby_bryant_ on Instagram and Twitter.