Album Review: “Razzmatazz” by I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME

On October 23, 2020, the band I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (or “idkhow” for short) released their first full album, Razzmatazz. The album immediately topped alternative charts, seeing as its two members, Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman, already had a substantial following. Dallon Weekes was a previous member of Panic! At the Disco, and Ryan Seaman was a member of Falling in Reverse. Both of those bands are regarded as successes, so therefore when Dallon and Ryan joined forces, the result was a very successful and well received album. 

As an avid fan of “idkhow,” I could go on hour-long tangents expressing my love for the album. However, rather than just discuss my love for it, I will give a general overview of the album, followed by my recommendation of the top five songs on Razzmatazz.

Razzmatazz as a full album is an alternative album, described by Apple Music as “a debut set of neon-bright pop-rock with ideas as big as it’s hooks.” The album has a very synth-y sound that is nostalgic of the 1980s. However, it manages to incorporate many aspects of modern pop-rock sounds. The 12 track debut album is filled with emotional original songs that explore many emotions the band members have experienced in their lives. As for the top five songs on the album, they are, in my opinion: “Kiss Goodnight,” “Clusterhug,” “Nobody Likes the Opening Band,” “Need You Here,” and “Leave Me Alone.”

  1. 1. “Kiss Goodnight”

    silhouette of man and woman kissing at sunset

    This song feels like it would be played at prom, but in a good way. The song tells a simple story of a boy who would like to kiss a girl goodnight. The track feels soft and emotional, yet you can feel the passion in his voice. This song is such a nice traditional love song, and a great place to start with “idkhow.” The 80s-style nostalgia in this song, when mixed with the pure emotion, leads to a song that just makes your heart feel like it’s glowing.

  2. 2. “Clusterhug”

    couple hugging

    Keeping with the theme of “idkhow” love songs, “Clusterhug” has a more upbeat tempo and slightly more cryptic lyrics. However, it is another feel-good song. Although “idkhow” hasn’t explained yet what inspired this song, there are many references to “disease” and “quarantine,” which leads fans to speculate that it was written after the Covid-19 pandemic hit. However, that is just speculation, and provides a fun lens through which to listen to the song. That aside, this song has such an amazing build, romantic theme, and one of my favorite song endings on the album.

  3. 3. “Nobody Likes the Opening Band”

    Microphone on stage

    This song is rather unlike the others on the album, seeing as it has mostly piano backing. The instrumentals are definitely not as pop-rock as others on the album. The song serves as a plea to the listeners, begging them to understand the plight of the opening band, and asking them to give them a chance. The song has some really cute comical lines, and Dallon’s ending note is rather impressive. This song is a mere two minutes long, and it provides an interesting insight to “idkhow” with music that is stripped down to just light instrumentals and vocals.

  4. 4. “Need You Here”

    father and daughter, family, father, love, people, children, happiness

    This is one of the most emotional songs on the album, because it was written by Dallon Weekes and expresses how hard it is traveling for work while having young children at home. What makes this already emotional song even more adorable is that Dallon’s young daughter is actually featured on the song. The song is very personal, and once again expresses so much emotion. The instrumentals do a really good job bringing out these emotions as well.

  5. 5. “Leave Me Alone”

    woman sitting alone looking out window

    The last must-listen on Razzmatazz is the first track, “Leave Me Alone.” This song has hit No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart, and has helped skyrocketed “idkhow’s” success. This song hits the 80s synth nostalgia so perfectly. It has such a fun sound, interesting lyrics, and is a great way to start the album.

Overall, I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME’s debut album Razzmatazz is totally worth the listen for anyone who is interested in alternative music, 80s nostalgia, or just looking for something new.

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