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The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

Almost Found Heaven

Conan Gray’s chaotic venture into new territory
Conan+Gray+on+the+Found+Heaven+album+cover
Conan Gray on the “Found Heaven” album cover

Conan Gray released his third album, “Found Heaven,” on April 5, 2024, a 36 minute delve into new musical territory: more upbeat than its predecessor, the tragically heartbroken “Superache.” He isn’t dwelling in the pain and heartache like he was on “Superache,” instead, he dances through it, with the help of the album’s heavy ‘80s synth-pop style. But his old music was softer, more personal, and more comforting. “Found Heaven” lacks the storytelling aspect of his writing that almost all of his past songs had. 

His vocals have clearly changed and matured a lot as well, and his vocal range on the album is impressive, but the vocals – and the whole style of the album – often don’t suit him. It seems like he’s trying hard to be different and make a statement, which is understandable in such a competitive industry. When he started making music his style was unique, but now low-tech, personal, bedroom-pop styles have taken over and are mainstream. And while his new style does set him apart, his vocals lack the personality and vulnerability they used to have. Though musical and aesthetic change and evolution is important and can be extremely beneficial, I miss the old Conan. 

The album starts off strong with the stylistically unique title track, “Found Heaven,” one of the best songs on the album. It sets the tone for the album with its addictive beat. There is also a sprinkling of religious references in it, such as the opening line, “no God above us/can we repent this sin?” the line, “there’s a God in the sky/don’t believe him,” and, of course, the track’s title and title of the album, “Found Heaven.” These are interesting – something he hasn’t explored much before. 

The second track, “Never Ending Song,” was the first single released. When it dropped, it stood out for having a significantly different tone than all the tracks on “Superache.” While most of the “Superache” tracks were incredibly raw, emotional, and heartbroken, “Never Ending Song” and its ‘80s synth-pop style marked the beginning of a new era. 

“Bourgeoisieses,” the eighth track, stands out in its playfulness. The almost comedic background music, surface-level lyrics, and loud vocals are the epitome of the playful, poppy side of the album. “Boys & Girls” has a similar feeling. 

The last song, “Winner,” wraps up the album and is a fitting last track with its reminiscent, regretful, and yet accepting tone. “There’s no one/who ever has done better/at makin’ me feel worse,” Gray sings. “Now you really are the winner.”

Conan Gray has mastered the art of pairing sad lyrics with irresistible, catchy beats, which is proven on many tracks. While the album is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, the songs are all tied together with a cohesive sound. None of the songs are particularly weak, which is impressive. 

In the end, I have mixed feelings about “Found Heaven.” While it’s a good album, catchy, unique, and very expressive, I miss Gray’s old style. Although it’s good he’s exploring new genres and styles, he was a master of the songs of his past. 

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Bellamy Crehan, Staff Writer
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