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Album Review: Out In The World by GUM

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GUM, the one man band known as Jay Watson, is a multi-instrumentalist from Australia. While mainly being known for his work with Pond and as a live member for Tame Impala, you definitely shouldn't be sleeping on his solo work on GUM. Out In The World marks his fifth studio album and two years since his previous studio album, The Underdog.

The first track from the album is Weightless in L.A. It's a pretty quiet and serene track with several string instruments, as well as some woodwind instruments. The track eventually opens up with more of a psychedelic pop feeling halfway through the track. The end eventually turns into odd electric guitar noises. While living in Australia for his entire life, this track is Jay's perception of Los Angeles, California. He talks about how some people don't make their dreams come true, while others live some crazy life, even though he thinks that is considered normal in the city. The weightless in L.A. part could refer to how some of the celebrities don't have much of an impact in their city.

The next track and one of my personal favorites is Airwalkin'. This definitely has more of a pop-rock sound to it. It takes a while for it to open up since it's mainly just a regular guitar melody going on. However, the chorus is where the track really opens up. While growing up, Jay Watson lived in a rural town in Australia. He said that this track is about him walking around in the town with his Discman as a teenager, and for all of you younger people, it's a portable CD player. Even though he was self-conscious about the way he looked, he was having a great time with the music he was listening to.

After that, we have the title track, Out In The World. I am definitely getting a classic rock vibe from this track. This was also one of the singles for this album that was released earlier this year. If you remember one of my previous reviews, this track definitely is giving me Chicano Batman vibes, or even San Cisco. According to Jay himself, he said this track is about a stream of light in a dark room. He also mentions that it's not too late to change your life and to stay out in the world, no matter how hard it will get.

The Thrill Of Doing It Right starts with a drum introduction, and then you get an electronic synth blast. Also, since he has worked with Kevin Parker in the past, I feel like this track is heavily influenced by him. You can definitely hear some sound effects that were used on Innerspeaker and Lonerism. I also love the chorus of horns that are scattered throughout this track. While being minimalistic lyrically, he talks about being lonely and wondering if he'll find love anywhere.

Many Tears To Cry starts off with a quiet acoustic guitar. The track gradually adds instrumentation over time, which causes it to grow in intensity. For most of the track, he talks about hiding some feelings, but still wanting to cry. The last two verses talk about facing your fears, as well as the concept of dying alone.

Alphabet Soup is the shortest track on the album, just a little bit over two and a half minutes in length. The track opens up with a quick spoken bit, then the quick drum hits start to come in. It's a bit different in taste compared to the other tracks we have heard so far. Besides the instrumental breaks, it gives a completely different side of Jay Watson. On the chorus of the track, it talks about not being the young person you once were, but not being too old at the same time. I would say it's the odd period in your life where you are in your late 20s and early 30s.

Don't Let It Go Out brings us back to the classic rock and psychedelic rock feel. You have your distorted guitars as well as your rhythm guitar and bass. Eventually, you get your synth later in the track to add to the psychedelic aesthetic. On the chorus of the track, Jay mentions a dream still being present, but not quite attainable.

Just like a previous track, Down The Dream starts off with an acoustic track, as well as a bass droning on in the background. He keeps up this melody/accompany for most of the track, until the very end. Then you start getting the reverbed guitars, as well as some of the reverbed electronic effects. Jay talks about how things were starting to go his way, but in the end, his dreams started to fade and not work his way. There's also a sense of loneliness he is feeling, especially since he is 30 years old at the time of the release of this album.

Low To Low starts off with some interesting drum effects, as well as some electronic features sprinkled in. As different as this track is compared to the other tracks, this oddly fits into the picture. It has a light and upbeat dance feeling to it. The brass section really adds to that feeling on this track. Eventually, the guitar switches to more of an electronic and staccato style. The track is nearly five minutes in length, but there aren't too many lyrics to the track. He talks about the sense of being forgotten and not wanting people to forget about him.

Finally, we come to the last and longest track from the album, You Make Your Own Luck. The track is just a little over six minutes in length to close the album. The track starts off quietly with only a piano backing it. Just like the other quieter tracks, it slowly grows in instrumentation and feeling over time. There aren't many lyrics, just for the first half of the track. For the last two minutes of the track, the beat changes dramatically into a more funk-like style.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Airwalkin', The Thrill Of Doing It Right, Low To Low, You Make Your Own Luck

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