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Trojan Tribune

The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

The student news site of Alisal High School

Trojan Tribune

Album Review- Fireworks and Rollerblades/Benson Boone

With+upbeat+pop+anthems+calibrated+for+long+summer+days+and+raw%2C+restrained+ballads%2C+Benson+Boones+PULSE+is+the+work+of+an+artist+in+transition.+%28Image+courtesy+of+moxie.org%29
With upbeat pop anthems calibrated for long summer days and raw, restrained ballads, Benson Boone’s PULSE is the work of an artist in transition. (Image courtesy of moxie.org)

You have probably heard the song “Beautiful Things” at least once in the past few months. This song has been trending on both TikTok and Instagram and has surpassed over 100 million views on YouTube in only 4 months, which even the most established artists fail to do. 

The man behind this song is 21-year-old singer-songwriter Benson Boone. The singer-songwriter demonstrates remarkable growth on PULSE — his second EP within 12 months. Boone has had a social media following since a young age but jump started his music career with his appearance on Season 19 of American Idol. At the time, he was one of the front-runners to win the competition but left before the TOP 24 live shows. 

Even though some people criticized his decision, his success has been undeniable. He has released hit songs, like “Ghost Town”, “In the Stars”, and one of the most popular songs in the world right now, “Beautiful Things”. In the past several years, I’ve become a Benson Boone enthusiast, and I have been anxiously waiting to listen to his first-ever studio album “Fireworks and Rollerblades”. 

          With upbeat pop anthems calibrated for long summer days and raw, restrained ballads, PULSE is the work of an artist in transition. “These songs are definitely more me,” Boone says of the project. Not that 2022’s Walk Me Home… EP, which produced the hits “GHOST TOWN” and “In The Stars,” wasn’t authentic. “PULSE just expands and builds on that world,” he says. “I’m testing new waters and loving it. This is where I am now.”   

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Before the album’s official release, Boone promoted his hit singles “Beautiful Things” and “Slow it Down”  on social media. He then released his debut album “Fireworks and Rollerblades” on April 5th, 2024. This album consists of 15 songs, with a run time of 49 minutes. I listened to the album in full, and although all of the songs are worthy contenders, these 7 stood out the most. 

Be Someone

The album’s first song is the very upbeat “Intro”, but it transitions perfectly into “Be Someone”, which is the perfect song for a hopeless romantic. His lyrics, “Wanna be that guy, that’s making it hard for you to sleep at night”, hit harder when thinking about a certain person. The bridge displays wanting to be someone’s significant other in various situations. “Be Someone” is the perfect love letter to someone you want to be with. The production in the song is great and even though the topic at hand could be used to describe unrequited love, this song finds a way to make you want to get up and dance.

Slow It Down

This song is the second recent single of the album. It sets the scene, regarding Boone’s relationship with a girl. He sings, “Out of Georgia, now you’re lonely in this city/Lyin’ with me, and you’re scared it’s movin’ quickly.” This song slowly builds into the chorus and once it hits he unleashes his true feelings, emphasizing that he can help his partner through any situation. In his lyrics, “Full of hopeless doubt, let me pull you out, let me hold you now, let me slow it down” he shows how he would support his significant other. Overall, this is a well-crafted song that displays the value of communication. It also has garnered attention, thanks to the success of his previous single “Beautiful Things”, which he performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Cry

When the song begins, it sounds like it will be another sad bop. Then he switches it up and sings, “Nah, nah, nah, that doesn’t feel right/Maybe, uh, speed it up.” The switch-up is not only in tempo but in perspective as well. Boone starts the song by beating himself up about the situation and then the music speeds up as he acknowledges that the other person is toxic and the relationship needs to end. He sings, “Cry, cry, go and ruin someone else’s life/ Go bug somebody else, so I can sleep at night.” This song is the perfect outro, to a toxic relationship where your partner is playing the victim. And it’s also very expressive, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing this in front of a bathroom mirror.

Beautiful Things

Again, most people have probably heard this song on social media recently. But, if you haven’t, I recommend checking it as soon as possible. It has the perfect build and the chorus is extremely catchy. Even if you consider it a decent song, you’ll probably hum it later. This song captures the ups and downs of life, and finding beauty in it all. Throughout the song, he reflects on all the beautiful things in his life but has this overshadowing feeling that those things can be lost at any moment. Unsurprisingly, this is his most popular song and it even reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

In the Stars

“In the Stars” is one of Boone’s biggest hits. This song was released in 2022, but it is still a solid song on the album, mainly because of its vulnerability. The beauty of this song is that it can be interpreted as heartbreak or the mourning of a loved one. In a Genius interview, Boone stated, “My great-grandma passed away a couple of years ago and I was very very close with her. That kind of loss can be more heartfelt or emotional than a relationship.” He displays his emotions perfectly in the chorus, where he sings, “I’m still holding on to everything that’s dead and gone, I don’t want to say goodbye, because this one means forever.” If you’ve ever experienced a similar situation, this song might make you shed a tear or two and Boone’s superb vocals help escalate this song to an even greater level. If you like this song, I recommend checking out his other hit single “Ghost Town”, about a relationship that has grown cold. It was also Boone´s first entry in the Billboard Hot 100 and has amassed over half a billion streams.

My Greatest Fear

This was the album’s first new song that made me shed a tear. “My Greatest Fear” begins by explaining how his life hasn’t been going his way lately in the lyrics, “I’m tossing and turning thinking that my life’s gone to waste, just filling up empty space.” Then he sings that the presence of a particular person somehow makes his life better. Boone also gets extremely vulnerable with his partner, “I’m terrified of the day that I die, but my greatest fear of all is losing you.”  Losing your partner is not often discussed among men. But, one thing Boone excels in is pulling at your heartstrings and this song is a testament to that. If you enjoy listening to story-tellers like Noah Kahan, I recommend checking out this song and the others listed. 

Friend

Lastly, we reach the 2nd to last track, “Friend”. This song expresses the feeling of loneliness and needing someone to rely on. We all have these moments, when what we are going through is too much for us to get through alone, so we reach out to close friends and family. This song describes that concept perfectly. It also recognizes the people who have supported Boone during his rise to worldwide fame. Boone has an extremely emotional tone in this song, and it turns this relatable topic into a tear-drenching one. “Friend” is an honest song about friendship that we could all use in our playlist. He showcases that friendship isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and that there will be hardships, but in the end, having someone’s shoulder to cry on is what makes a friendship so wonderful. 

Fireworks and Rollerblades was an overall great album. I give it a 10/10, and every song is worth a listen. It showcased some beautiful love songs, as well as hints of heartbreak and self-reflection. Thanks to the success of his single, “Beautiful Things”, this album has brought Boone into the spotlight and helped sell out his ongoing Fireworks and Rollerblades tour.

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