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Lauv - All 4 Nothing (Album Review)

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 Written by Jacob Brookman

‘All 4 Nothing’ is the second album from singer-songwriter (and viral megastar) Lauv, and it delivers 13 cool, middle-of-the-road pop tracks that show off the Californian’s accessible tween-pop chops. It is a record that delivers a consistent, soft and professional sound that is almost completely devoid of any risk-taking—Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music’ it ain’t.

That doesn’t stop it from having some nice turns. Kids Are Born Stars is a pleasant groover with taut arrangement and excellent vocal layering. Similarly, All 4 Nothing (I’m So In Love) is a skipping toe-tapper that demonstrates a degree of vocal versatility that is hard to ignore. It’s unabashed sugary schmaltz, but if you’re a teenager going through a tough time, it likely takes your mind off things.

There are also some edgier moments by historical standards. Lauv admits to drinking “every night” on Stay Together, Molly in Mexico documents the use of MDMA on holiday, and 26 demonstrates a degree of confusion and humility about his own success: “26 and rich, how the hell did it come to this?” 

He is occasionally a very able storyteller but the degree of candour here has actually begun to feel like a minimum requirement for a pop singer in 2022. Ed Sheeran is the living, breathing archetype, and Lauv is a few biographical chapters behind. Musical, too.

Maybe that is the journey we are on with him. His breakthrough album balanced sadboi delivery with bedroom production values and a degree of self-deprecating humour. This does the same with little to no real development on the theme but, to be fair, the commercial imperative is probably strong enough to justify sticking to the sound for his entire career. Still, it would be nice to see a little more.

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