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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bless

Young Jesus- Welcome to Conceptual Beach (Review)

Updated: Aug 23, 2020

The journey into someone else’s mind is a difficult thing to convey. The mind is a very sacred and unique place that everyone experiences differently. We all have new and abstract ideas, and at times, conveying those new ideas in a way that is accessible to everyone is a very difficult task. On Welcome to Conceptual Beach, Young Jesus vocalist/ guitarist Josh Rossiter takes us to a secluded place in his mind that acts as his mental fortitude. This is the place where he can feel most at home and describes this land as ‘his long-time mental refuge, where he imagines himself living—like a medieval, stigmata-wrought hermit—all his needs for okay-ness finally met.’ This record acts as our passport to Josh’s mind, a place that is so difficult for many to open up in as freely of a way as Josh and his bandmates do here. His bandmates act as scribes within this record, translating this undiscovered land to us, the listeners, which is quite a noble and impressive feat.

The most impressive thing on Welcome to Conceptual Beach is how it captures the variety of thought that goes on in a mind in a given span of time. The most convincing tool to measure this particular achievement is the vast and deep lineup of instruments showcased throughout this album. We get various unique sounding instruments, such as whirring extra terrestrial synths on 'Meditations,' and brief, very twangy sounding guitars on 'Magicians,' just to name a few of the more memorable interesting choices from the record. This release does well in highlighting all of the emotions one would feel if they were to have a world inside of their head as well, there are moments of calmness and introspection where not much is happening, but all of a sudden out of nowhere we get complete chaos, most notably coming to us by way of a wall of fuzzy sounding electric guitars and a more pointed lyrical delivery, displayed on the third track of the album ‘(un)knowing.’

Our visions of this land in Josh’s mind at times are rather muddled and it doesn’t entirely live up to its full potential. A lot of the moments on this album are heavily lost in translation between the band members on this particular record. This is very prevalent on the last two tracks ‘Lark’ and ‘Magician,’ which run at around 12 minutes and 10 minutes respectively. I love epically timed songs as much as the next music fan, but I just feel as if these two epically timed tracks really make the album that much more difficult to get through, especially when there feels like there is no real payoff if you are listening as closely as I was to this album. This album would be best experienced as something that you turn on and just chill out to rather than something that you just heavily judge, which makes complete and total sense because this is essentially a plane ticket to a place in which another human feels the most like themselves.

‘Welcome to Conceptual Beach’ is a fantastic exercise in creating a soundtrack to something that lives specifically in the mind of an individual, but at times it feels like an out of body experience for the listener that doesn’t quite get them inside of another human beings mind, rather we float around the head of Josh Rossiter. Maybe that is how the band intended it, as these thoughts and emotions don’t need to be fully realized by their audience to appreciate this record.

Favorite Tracks: Meditations, Root and Crown

Least Favorite Track: Lark

Rating: 7.2/10

Listen to 'Meditations' by Young Jesus below:

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