Immersive / Sandlot / Geffen · September 17, 2021
Expectations weren’t exactly high for LILHUDDY’s newest release, Teenage Heartbreak. Even with this fact, however, LILHUDDY still manages to underwhelm in every aspect of his musical ability on this album. Chase Hudson, known more commonly by his pseudonym LILHUDDY, rose to fame through his association with the Hype House, an LA-based collective of teenage TikTok influencers. More specifically, he made a name for himself after being in a rather rocky relationship with fellow member Charli D’Amelio, who is currently the world’s most followed TikTok user. From this, he created the image of a “bad boy” that he ran with for the rest of his career, all the way up into his venture into recorded music on Teenage Heartbreak. It’s on this album, however, that he reveals how sincere he is about this facade – which, of course, is not at all. There is not a single original idea on this LP, and there is not a single note of music that doesn’t sound uninspired. It is quite literally just a ball of clichés and lowest-common-denominator instrumentation designed to fill the run time of an album and nothing else. There is no variety, and there’s nothing to grab your attention; it’s just extremely boring and annoying. In a phrase, it’s all edge and no point.
There isn’t a single distinct moment in the entirety of Teenage Heartbreak, let alone a distinct track. For the most part, they all sound like the same bad rip-off of Green Day and use the same three power chords in the exact same rhythm. Sure, you have one or two songs that involve perhaps an acoustic guitar, but even then, the song structure and all other instrumentation are essentially identical. Not only this, but somehow this album succeeds in incorporating every repetitive cliché from the pop-rock genre from the past 20 years. A good example of this is the song “Partycrasher,” which takes the audience through the blandest riff one could possibly imagine, incorporates the most basic backbeat on drums, and still manages to fit in lyrics that read like a cut-and-paste of every other teenage party song. The start of the second song, “America’s Sweetheart,” includes what seems to be a halfway decent (albeit extremely simplistic) fingerpicking riff that very quickly becomes annoying as it fails to evolve and is engulfed by the same two or three piano chords over and over again with no variance or focus. Every song has the same exact structure as well, having two choruses and two verses followed by a bridge where the song quiets down in preparation for a comparatively louder reprise of the chorus. It becomes distracting, especially when the bridge of each song begins. It’s almost like you can tell they were just padding for time every time a song decreases in timbre, as those moments very obviously serve no purpose musically.
The most outwardly offensive part of this album, however, is LILHUDDY’s braindead lyricism and lackluster singing. The lyrics all sound like they were stitched together in a corporate boardroom and meticulously designed to be as generic as possible. It’s exceedingly obvious that LILHUDDY put no effort into them whatsoever, and hooks like the ones off of “IDC” and “America’s Sweetheart” illustrate this clearly. LILHUDDY is also incredibly untalented as a vocalist, and he showcases that fact throughout the album. His voice is whiny and irritating, and it genuinely seems like he has trouble matching his vocal rhythm to the beat of the music sometimes. The first few seconds of “Lost Without You” illustrate this clearly, as he churns out an artificial-sounding vocal performance over yet another cookie-cutter riff.
While it’s no surprise that this album was a disappointment, it’s still appalling to see how much of a failure it is. It is by no means a case of “it’s so bad it’s good,” it‘s just extremely mind-numbing and seemingly lacks any creative intent. Teenage Heartbreak is almost tailored specifically to bore the listener out of their skull, and it succeeds with flying colors at that task.