Whereas MUNA’s last two albums captured the turbulent realities of sexuality, unrequited love and heartbreak, this self-titled third is comparably celebratory. ‘Silk Chiffon’, with its near-saccharine ode to intimacy, gives way to ‘What I Want’; in some senses ‘I Know A Place’ mark two. It sets up the self-confidence for the rest of the record. “I want to dance in the middle of a gay bar,” the trio declare with refreshed defiance. “There’s nothing wrong with what I want,” they cement. Even in the album’s softer moments, of which there aren’t many, this assuredness continues. “I used to wear my sadness like a choker,” laments ‘Loose Garment’, but now “I just let it flow”. On ‘Runner’s High’, another queer disco dancefloor filler, the band sing of self-care. “I’ve been doing almost everything I wanted to,” the build-up notes. The majority of ‘MUNA’ consists of these euphoric synth pop tracks. And the occasional nods to country, in particular ‘Kind of Girl’, carry the story forward and allow the anthems to shine. For a band who have relied heavily on sadness, with deep-rooted melancholia running through all that has come before, it’s a calculated risk that effortlessly pays off. It’s by far the happiest MUNA have sounded; a celebratory expression of queer love that loses none of the trio’s magic.
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Having switched camps from a major label to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory and with a new self-titled LP in tow, MUNA are releasing their most confident outpouring to date.
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