A Bop or A Flop? 

Conan Gray’s debut studio album “Kid Krow” is out now


Conan Gray is an indie pop sensation that got his start on YouTube over seven years ago. Sophomore Lucy Fasick has been a fan of his for just over two years now after a Spotify recommendation crossed their paths. “I’m very excited for Kid Krow because I think it will be interesting for it to work as a story and there’s a lot of songs. It kind of reminds me of how Billie [Eilish] modeled her album,” Fasick said. Photo courtesy of Republic Records. 

Natalie Castillo, Graphics Editor

Conan Gray is a 21 year old singer that has become a musical sensation seemingly overnight with the help of some of the biggest social platforms in the music industry. With the help of Antony Roe (user @uwuthotty on Tik Tok), Gray’s hit song “Maniac” reached thousands of streams on Tik Tok and it’s music video currently has 9.6 million views. Before this level of success, Conan Gray was a YouTube vlogger from Texas for over seven years who posted thrift hauls, room tours, song covers and original music. It was Gray’s original “Idle Town” that put him on the road to stardom and was signed to Republic Records within the next year. He released his debut EP “Sunset Season” consisting of five songs in 2018 and has delivered multiple hit singles since then. 

On January 9, Gray announced Kid Krow’s release. The last single on the album, “The Story” was released a few hours later on the same day. The album has 12 songs with lyric videos available for almost every song on his YouTube channel, Conan Gray.  Based on the pre-released singles, is Kid Krow be a bop or a flop? 

Comfort Crowd: The first song in the line-up  is a crawling track with a backing guitar and soft vocals. Gray told Universal Music in an interview “I had just moved away to college, and all my friends were back home in Texas. I just really needed some company, that kinda company that didn’t require attention. That kinda company with someone who you’re so close to, you don’t need to say a single word to fill the ‘uncomfortable’ silence.” The song was released on September 5th, 2019 with a haunting video shot in a horror movie aesthetic. Overall, this song is good for a violent cry or when you just feel lonely and you need someone who understands. 

Maniac: The next track featured on Kid Krow is “Maniac”, an upbeat song filled with 80s synths and haunting vocals. The lyrics follow Gray bashing his ex for lying about their relationship to their friends. Over 260,000 Tik Tok videos have been made using the chorus of the song thanks to Antony Roe (@uwuthotty) posting a snippet of the song for his own video. The original video is now deleted but the song peaked on the social media app around late October. “Maniac” is a good song to get angry at an ex after a bad breakup or a good Halloween song to dance to.

Checkmate: This tune is a vengeful love song with fun guitar riffs and quirky vocals that keep listeners bobbing their heads until the very end. Gray wrote this song after being toyed with by a player. He has smart metaphors to love being a game that two can play. “Checkmate” clocks in at under three minutes, easily making it one of the most replayable songs so far. If you want to jump around and feel better about a breakup that never happened, this is the perfect song for it.

The Story: The latest release is this tearful ballad about coming to terms with the cruelty of fate. “The Story” closes the whole album and it is the most authentic song from Conan Gray yet. The acoustic sound and the powerful build to the bridge and final chorus is the kind of song to take a long drive to. It makes you contemplative of what comes next and for a lot of high school students, we all can relate to feeling stuck in place. In terms of lyricism, Gray’s message definitely resonates with it’s younger audience making it his most powerful song to date.

Is “Kid Krow” bop? Conan Gray’s lyricism and musicality have gotten better since his first EP, that’s for sure. I am excited to listen to what else Gray has to say if “The Story” is anything to go off of. “Kid Krow” will be more bop than flop, but to be sure, you’ll have to listen to the rest yourself. The album is available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, and Youtube.