Gracie Abrams stuns in debut album “Good Riddance”

Justin Higuchi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re on the hunt for music with production similar to Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” and “Evermore” with aesthetics akin to Phoebe Bridgers’ sad songs, look no further than Gracie Abrams. The young artist recently released her highly-anticipated debut album “Good Riddance,” a vulnerable record providing fans a glimpse into her raw emotions and experiences.

Abrams rose to popularity with her two EPs, “Minor” and “This is What it Feels Like.” In “Good Riddance,” Abrams explores the themes of heartbreak, anxiety, love, friendship, pain and loneliness, themes found in her previous work.

The LP is produced and co-written by Aaron Dessener, who also contributed to some of Swift’s hits like “Folklore,” “Evermore” and “Midnights.” Dessener lets Abrams distinguish herself by enhancing production quality and solidifying her aesthetic.

Though she may be considered a “nepo baby” thanks to her father JJ Abrams, a famous producer of the recent “Star Wars” films, her EPs, singles and now album demonstrate that she deserves all the accolades for her music.

Abrams honestly reflects on her past relationships with others and herself in this latest release. Even the album cover conveys the complexities of the human mind with its blurred imagery, while being 100% transparent.

Opening track “Best” illustrates Abrams’ honesty about a past relationship — when it ended, she said “good riddance.” The chorus repeats the lyric “I never was the best to you” as Abrams admits she played a role in the breakup, too.

Embed from Getty Images

The next song, “I Know It Won’t Work,” has quickly become a fan favorite after her live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! With beautiful instrumental and powerful vocals, this song is one of the record’s best.

The lyrics “Cause I’m your ghost right now / your house is haunted” parallel her popular 2020 song, “I Miss You, I’m Sorry.”

“Difficult,” “Where Do We Go Now?” and “Amelie” were the album’s lead singles, each building anticipation prior to the full album release. These three songs exemplify the variety of musical quality and lyricism that Abrams can deliver.

“I Should Hate You” and “This Is What The Drugs Are For” introduce a new sound for Abrams with a more prominent acoustic guitar, toning down the electric sound of the album compared to her EPs.

The twelve songs have a consistent tone, but some feel repetitive. Perhaps the album could have ended with a more upbeat song, one similar to “Feels Like” off her second EP. Closing out the album on a positive note would’ve shown that Abrams successfully moved on from her past relationship.

This debut album is perfect for fans of “sad girl” type music, whether you just need a good cry or want to blast these songs in your car while driving to the beach.

Rating: 4/5