Review: Queen of Jeans Journey Through Love & Heartache on ‘All Again’

Queen of Jeans © Brooke Marsh
Queen of Jeans © Brooke Marsh
Philadelphia’s Queen of Jeans take listeners on the journey through a relationship, breakup, and back on ‘All Again,’ their fullest album yet.
Stream: ‘All Again’ – Queen of Jeans

Loneliness can be a difficult emotion to navigate.

For all of the pain and longing that comes with it, it can also be comforting. Navigating the steps that lead to a relationship and eventually the end of one naturally come with that lonely feeling and the other range of feelings that come with it. On their excellent third album All Again, Philadelphia’s Queen of Jeans listeners through the beginning of a new relationship all the way to the end, including all of the heart-wrenching details.

The record, which is the follow-up to 2019’s If you’re not afraid, I’m not afraid, opens in a place where most people have found themselves: Reflecting on a past romance and thinking about picking up the phone. The most remarkable aspect of vocalist Miriam Devora’s lyrics in “All My Friends” is the reflection that even though they’re surrounded by all the people that they care for, they don’t see themselves as “home” without the person that the  song is about. Surely, most people can identify that feeling following a breakup. After the prologue, Devora then looks back on the romance from the doomed situationship-ness of the beginning (“Horny Hangover”) to losing yourself in the midst of everything (“Neighbors”) to the bitter ends where the toxicity of the romance shows (“Go Down Easy”).

Devora’s lyricism truly captures all the complicated feelings and messy situations that you can find yourself in throughout a challenging relationship that is doomed to implode. Whether it’s mixing the drunken phone calls and the hindsight reflections of knowing better on the swelling indie rock tune “Go Down Easy” or the self-reasoning of the catchy “Karaoke,” where they display their choice to just dive head in on the relationship. There’s even acknowledgements of a relationship being unhealthy but sometimes just letting themselves fall into it.

I get a horny hangover every time you cross my mind
I know that I owe myself more than this
When I slip, I’m still trying
‘Cause I don’t want you and I can’t stand you
All Again - Queen of Jeans
All Again – Queen of Jeans

Despite how fun some of the songs about “doing it for the plot” might be, the album’s emotional core are the tunes that really tug on the heart strings and show how isolating and lonely this kind of romance can be. One of the standout back half cuts is “Books in Bed,” which is an emotional power ballad, which perfectly describes a loneliness that anyone who’s found themselves buried in a novel amid their heartbreak can relate to. “From holding me all inside my head, wishing that you were here instead of all of these books I’ve read to fall asleep to dreams I won’t regret,” Devora belts in the chorus.

Just like the rise and fall of a romance, the band incorporate different styles of music to narrate the ebb and flow of a relationship. With the dancey-indie rock of “Horny Hangover,” the foreboding, the mostly acoustic ballad “Let Me Forget,” or the punchy and punky “Bitter Pill,” the band provides the perfect soundtrack to accompany Devora’s lyrics. Will Yip’s production takes the group from the bedroom pop of previous releases to some of their catchiest work to date.

Queen of Jeans © Brooke Marsh
Queen of Jeans © Brooke Marsh

As the album reaches its close, listeners are treated to the bouncy love song “Last To Try,” which is about really thinking about taking one more shot on that doomed romance, but ultimately, it closes on “Do It All Again.” The brief coda admits that they would ultimately probably find themselves going through with the relationship, with chords that somewhat mirror the opening song (although it’s a bit more hazy).

Even though loneliness and isolation are key themes throughout All Again, Queen of Jeans expertly take listeners through the highs and lows of a relationship. And even though we’ve all been through relationships where we know things maybe should’ve gone differently, sometimes we just have to accept that we’d pursue it again.

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:: stream/purchase All Again here ::
:: connect with Queen of Jeans here ::
Stream: “Horny Hangover” – Queen of Jeans

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Queen of Jeans All Again

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📸 © Brooke Marsh 

All Again

an album by Queen of Jeans

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