• Darby VanDeVeen

'Punisher' Receives Rave Reviews for Phoebe Bridgers' Second Studio Album

Phoebe Bridgers released her second studio album, Punisher, to a slew of favorable reviews by critics and fans alike. Her soft vocals and lyricism blend together to create an album that you can lay down, close your eyes, and get lost in. Bridgers has the unmistakable talent of being able to capture a feeling and expand that one, fleeting, feeling into a full-length song. 

Minimal musical backings makes one feel as though Bridgers is whispering a secret right into your ear. Her lyrics also reflect this idea, where she takes seemingly insignificant details and weaves them throughout her song. Lines like “They still got pay phones/it cost a dollar a minute” are juxtaposed with deeper lines such as “I’ve been running around in circles/Pretending to be myself.” It’s almost like looking into the singer’s diary and getting to hear all of her innermost thoughts and fears.

The complex relationships of the album explored come directly from Bridgers' life. She told Apple Music that the song “I See You” was about her drummer. After breaking up, she was heartbroken but now they have developed a friendship and are still working together. Aside from her relationships, she finds inspiration from her inner turmoil and conflicts. “Kyoto” was written about being on tour and hating tour, then getting home and disliking that too. Bridgers said that her and her friends felt “so lucky and so spoiled and also sh*tty for complaining about how tired [they] were.”

Perhaps one of the most relatable tracks on the album is “Chinese Satellite.” Bridgers said that she wrote it about not having faith, and also about the feeling when you turn 11 and are waiting for your Hogwarts letter to come. After it doesn’t show up on your doorstep, you have to cope with the fact that your life probably isn’t going to be as special as you once thought it was. Coming to this realization is a hard process just like trying to find something to put your faith in. Until we find that, we can always wish on Chinese satellites like Bridgers does.

Having never listened to another Phoebe Bridgers album (but I did hear her guest vocals on the 1975’s Notes on a Conditional Form), I was so impressed with this release and will definitely be looking forward to more of her releases in the future.

Stream Punisher here and be sure to let me know what you thought about the album!

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