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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Review: Laufey ‘bewitches’ audience with sophomore album

Icelandic-Chinese jazz-pop singer breaks records with release
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Jake Radcliffe
The graphic above showcases Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir’s newest studio album “Bewitched.” This collection released on Sept. 8 and includes 14 songs. “The instrumentation is much fuller, and the lyrics hit on a more personal level,” junior Jake Radclife said in his attached review. “Laufey has said that her goal in releasing music is to ‘bring jazz back to her generation.’ ‘Bewitched’ makes it obvious that she is well on her way to achieving this goal.” (Album cover credit: AWAL)

Ever since Icelandic-Chinese jazz-pop singer Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, known professionally as Laufey, released her 2022 debut album “Everything I Know About Love,” jazz fans have been waiting for her next album. Her audience got their wish when “Bewitched” was released Sept. 8. The album has had the most listens in the first week of any jazz album released on Spotify.

Track 1: “Dreamer”

10/10

“Dreamer” is a great song to begin the album with. The song starts out with a beautiful a-cappella harmony, leading into an upbeat melody that is at first backed by a soft piano but ramps up to having percussion and bass that have a careless-feeling swing to them. In “Dreamer,” Laufey points out her annoyance with the depressing loop of getting into relationships that never work out but refuses to lose her hope and sense of wonder because of it.

“And no boy’s gonna be so smart / As to try and pierce my porcelain heart / And no boy’s gonna kill the dreamer in me”

Track 2: “Second Best”

8/10

“Second Best” transitions from the upbeat tempo of “Dreamer” into a more sullen mood. Over a repeated guitar riff, Laufey mourns the loss of another relationship in which her lover left her for someone else.

“Honestly, life has been much better since / I spoke to you last / Why am I still wondering if I stand a chance”

Track 3: “Haunted”

6/10

For me, “Haunted” is the most forgettable song on this album.  It’s very soothing, but at points it’s just a bit boring. It’s still a good song, but it doesn’t compare to the quality seen on the rest of “Bewitched.” In this song, Laufey explains how she keeps coming back to her lover, even though she knows that things could never work between them.

“I swear to myself as he leaves at dawn / This will end / ‘Til he haunts me again”

Track 4: “Must Be Love”

8/10

The instrumentation of this song reminds me of many of the songs found on Laufey debut album, “Everything I Know About Love.” It’s much more simple than other pieces found on “Bewitched.” In “Must Be Love,” Laufey wonders whether the feelings she is beginning to have is love or not.

“I’m just unusually composed / That is until I touch you and I can’t pretend / I lose myself again”

Track 5: “While You Were Sleeping”

8/10

In “While You Were Sleeping,” Laufey reminisces on unexpectedly falling in love with someone late at night, while they were sleeping. The guitar and strings give an almost sleepy vibe and encapsulate that feeling of staying up in the early morning hours.

“I trace it all back, 3:30 a.m. / That night something turned in my heart / While you were sleeping, I fell in love”

Track 6: “Lovesick”

10/10

“Lovesick” is my favorite of the songs on this album that weren’t released as singles. It begins with a quick guitar and softly sung lyrics but quickly explodes into a chorus that is almost reminiscent of many songs by Taylor Swift. Laufey has frequently counted Swift as an influence on her songwriting. In “Lovesick,” Laufey longs for her lover to come back to her, becoming afraid of their absence.

“In the morning you would be gone / I’d be mourning, tryna hold on / To the memory of your lips”

Track 7: “California and Me”

9/10

“California and Me” showcases the melancholy that can come from getting too attached to someone. Orchestrated by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Laufey brings a feeling of sadness to the album. The singer scorns a former lover for leaving her to be with someone else but also regrets letting them leave.

“Could’ve fought for you / But I just let you leave / Hurt too much to consider / You didn’t love me”

Track 8: “Nocturne (Interlude)”

7/10

“Nocturne (Interlude)” serves its role as an interlude very well. This instrumental piece is a great way to split the album in half while also giving a preview of the melody of one of the later songs on the album. Even though “Nocturne (Interlude)” doesn’t have any lyrics, it still encapsulates the romantic feelings heard throughout “Bewitched.”

Track 9: “Promise”

10/10

I immediately fell in love with “Promise” when I heard it for the first time. Backed only by piano and minimal percussion and strings, Laufey laments over a devastating breakup, still latching on to her former lover and unexplainably refusing to let go.

“So I broke my promise / I called you last night / I shouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have / If it weren’t for the sight of a boy / Who looked just like you”

Track 10: “From The Start”

10/10

“From The Start” was the first single released from this album and quickly became Laufey’s most popular song. It is definitely more upbeat than any other song on “Bewitched,” giving a nice change of pace. In “From The Start,” Laufey wishes that someone she has fallen in love with would reciprocate her feelings, even though they have fallen for someone else.

“When I talk to you / Oh, cupid walks right through / And shoots an arrow through my heart”

Track 11: “Misty”

9/10

“Misty” is the only song on “Bewitched” that wasn’t written by Laufey. The song was composed by pianist Erroll Garner with lyrics by Johnny Burke, and the singer has said that it is one of her favorite songs. At first, I was not a huge fan of “Misty.” It just felt forgettable to me. However, it grew on me as I listened to it more. I really love how Laufey taps into the sound of some of the giants of jazz, such as Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald.

“Would I wander through this wonderland alone? / Never knowing my right foot from my left / My hat from my glove / I’m too misty, and too much in love”

Track 12: “Serendipity”

7/10

“Serendipity” is one of the softer songs on the album. Laufey, accompanied by only a hushed piano, sings about how she hopes that the relationship she is entering really works out, even though every other one she has been in has not. I find this song to be very relaxing to listen to.

“Coincidences and cosmic signs / Have proved that I am quite naive / I’m falling fast, filling gravity / And all that I see is serendipity”

Track 13: “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self”

8/10

With the help of a soft guitar, Laufey shows her richer, lower register in “Letter To My 13 Year Old Self.” She speaks to herself as a young girl, telling her to persevere through the tough times she was experiencing and to pursue her dreams with the promise of them coming true.

“You’ll grow up and / Grow so tough and / Charm them / Write your story / Fall in love a little too”

Track 14: “Bewitched”

10/10

The title track of the album has to be my favorite song by far. In “Bewitched,” Laufey sings about the process of falling in love with her partner, growing in intensity as the song goes on. It’s one of the most beautiful songs that I have ever heard, and it’s the perfect way to end the album of the same name.

“You bewitched me / From the first time that you kissed me”

Overall, “Bewitched” comes through much bigger, bolder, and more ambitious than “Everything I Know About Love.” The instrumentation is much fuller, and the lyrics hit on a more personal level. Laufey has said that her goal in releasing music is to “bring jazz back to her generation.” “Bewitched” makes it obvious that she is well on her way to achieving this goal.

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Jake Radcliffe
Jake Radcliffe, Assistant Online Editor
Jake Radcliffe is a junior, and this is his third year as a staff member of Eagle Nation Online. This year, he will be serving as an Assistant Editor. He is a member of the A Cappella and Chamber choirs, the vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and the Asian Student Association and the historian of La Société Honoraire de Français. Outside of school, Radcliffe enjoys singing, reading, hanging out with friends, playing video games and being outdoors.
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