Good Grief is a sign of major progression for Lucius. Despite the strength of their 60s-influenced indie pop debut Wildewoman, it held a few weaker moments among its amazing ones, keeping it from reaching a perfect state. This time around, these missteps have been kept to an absolute minimum: As a more contemporary and refined piece of work, with dual vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sounding stronger than ever, they’ve effectively managed to top themselves this time around.
Similar to the eclectic style of their first album, it’s hard to pinpoint a single track that encompasses the album and all the improvements they’ve made. The initial track Madness rotates between verses paired with strings or piano and explosive choruses that assault you with a perfectly curated selection of the different verses’ elements, offering a sense of progression each time it transitions. The strong pop vibe of Almighty Gosh, alongside its mix of both gritty and shimmering guitar lines, manages to showcase a strikingly different angle for the group and its vocalists while still retaining their distinctive personality.
The album’s only unfitting moment does initially cause a slight disconnect in the flow of the album but the strength of the song also makes it the album’s biggest highlight: Born Again Teen is upbeat and danceable to a level that the album hadn’t truly covered before this stage, taking unexpected twists and turns with dissonant sounds that help offer the song a fittingly unhinged aspect. It stands clear against the album’s other tracks, trading in perfectly assembled sounds for something more haphazard and colourful. Even if it takes a few listens to wrap your head around it, the contrast it offers only helps to bolster the album.
As a full package, Good Grief stands as a straight upgrade to the already remarkable Wildewoman. The refined, confident vibe the album gives off is exceedingly infectious, and there’s no single song on the album that feels unnecessary or negatively unfitting; it’s a truly cohesive package, while still keeping the eclectic edge that Lucius has always held. Good Grief is the kind of sophomore album artists dream of making, and one that will surely be a huge step forward in Lucius’ career.