REVIEW: Lucy Dacus – Home Video

A cinema screen displaying a grainy VHS tape icon on a blue background

Home Video, Lucy Dacus’s third (and aptly named) studio album, is personal. Hauntingly personal. The artist that has been called ‘one of rock’s best pens’ writes her heart out on this record.

Let’s get one thing straight right way – I like the album. Very much.

As someone who has been a Lucy Dacus fan for a while now, this album was a delight. Lyrically and musically, she has never been better.

Long-time fans finally got a release of ‘Thumbs’, a song that Dacus has been performing live for a while but had asked her fans not to record. The song is quiet and violent, brimming with emotional desperation and devastation. The album has a couple songs in which Dacus addresses the subject of the song directly, but none are as forceful as this one. Her vocals stand out and the song is all the more powerful because of that.

Dacus has some great people providing background vocals on a couple of tracks. These include Mitski, and her Boygenius bandmates Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers – who provide background vocals on the song ‘Going Going Gone’. It’s a warm hug of a song and that outro?! Warmed my heart.

Bridgers and Baker also provide background vocals on the song ‘Please Stay’. You can’t help but be moved by the stripped-down music and lyrics. It’s a conversation. It’s a shot in the dark. It’s begging a loved one to stay. It’s selfless. It’s selfish. Hoping against hope, she hopes it’s enough.

One of the highlights for me was the song ‘Partner in Crime’. Dacus experiments with her vocals and sound, and the result is a Lucy Dacus song that sounds like The Japanese House. How could I not love it?

The longest song on the album, and the album closer ‘Triple Dog Dare’ is one of my favourite songs of the year so far. Dacus turns to herself and looks back. The what ifs are there. So are the resentments and regrets, and it all culminates into a grand finale fitting for this bold and glorious album.

So, where did this album fall short?

The song ‘Hot and Heavy’ just didn’t do much for me. To me it seemed it was going from one direction to the other, before settling in the second half of the song. And that held me back from investing in the song.

All in all, this is a great album. And if you haven’t heard anything by Lucy Dacus before this is a really good introduction to an artist who even though has been in the game for a few years now, is just getting started.

Once you’re out you’re never really home again. You grow, and grow apart until suddenly you’re the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit. It’s heartbreaking, yes. But necessary too. Even though that knowledge doesn’t always make it easier. But there are people back there. You share blood with them, and with some, you share your heart. Dacus might not be at home anymore. Might not be around those people anymore, but she’s still there. And well, if you have someone like Lucy Dacus in your life, consider yourself blessed.

Words by Rihaab Reyaz.

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