Life Support (Madison Beer album)

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Life Support
Madison Beer Life Support.png
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 26, 2021 (2021-02-26)
Recorded2018–2020
Genre
Length46:30
Label
Producer
Madison Beer chronology
As She Pleases
(2018)
Life Support
(2021)
TBA
(2022)
Singles from Life Support
  1. "Good in Goodbye"
    Released: January 31, 2020
  2. "Selfish"
    Released: February 14, 2020
  3. "Baby"
    Released: August 21, 2020
  4. "Boyshit"
    Released: December 11, 2020

Life Support is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Madison Beer, released by Access Records and Epic Records on February 26, 2021.[2] Beer herself co-wrote the whole album, and co-produced most of the record, to the making of a concept album based and created in the midst of Beer's major depressive episode and diagnosis with borderline personality disorder. The album deals with themes of mental health, grief and heartbreak, as well as Beer's experiences with public scrutiny and the music industry, and building resilience during the making of the record. Musically, Life Support is a pop and R&B record with elements of alternative.

Life Support generated four singles: "Good in Goodbye", released as the album's lead single, "Selfish", "Baby" and "Boyshit", and three promotional singles: "Stained Glass", "Blue" and "Everything Happens for a Reason". The album debuted at number 65 on the Billboard 200 and reached the top 40 in the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries around the globe.

Background[edit]

After the release of Beer's debut EP As She Pleases (2018), she began working on an album project in August 2018.[3] On November 9, 2018, Beer released "Hurts Like Hell" as the lead single from her then untitled debut studio album.[4] After the release of the single, Beer revealed that the album would be released sometime in 2019.[4] "Hurts Like Hell" was later removed from the album's track listing and "Dear Society" replaced it as the album's lead single, being released on May 17, 2019.[5] In August 2019, the album's title Life Support was leaked.[6] Shortly after that, Beer announced that she had signed with Epic Records and that she planned to release new music soon.[7] "Dear Society" was later removed from the album's track listing.[8] On February 12, 2020, Beer revealed the album's cover art.[9] On December 7, 2020, Beer revealed the album's release date of February 26, 2021.[10] Beer wrote the album with the intent of truly expressing herself and having her own voice, "I feel like I'm finally being seen for things that I value and being viewed for things that I actually feel really good about. And my music I feel like is speaking for itself," adding "This is who I am."[11] She also shared that she wanted to show those that mental health issues and internet perfection are not exclusive of one another, saying "'You have a perfect life.' And I'm like, no, I want to show you even if it looks like I do, I am also struggling severely and in therapy every single day and I'm on anxiety medication. I just wanted to deconstruct this idea that people have that if you present like you have a perfect life on social media, that doesn't mean that you actually do," signifying that she wanted to express that not everything you see means someone's life is perfect. She describes the album in three words, "Honest, brave and badass."[12] Her favorite lyrical track is "Effortlessly".

With my album, I made a promise to myself that this is going to be my time to express honestly and truthfully how I've been feeling. I could finally tell my story the way I wanted to tell it and touch on things like medications that are harmful for young adults that I’ve been put on, and real shit I've never been able to talk about

— Beer speaking about the album.[13]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Life Support was described by reviewers as a dark, personal, and sad album influenced by R&B, alternative, and pop.[14][15] In an interview with Zach Sang and Dan Zolot, Beer confirmed that she was inspired by a variety of artists, including Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey and Twenty One Pilots.[16] Lyrically, the album deals with mental health, self reflection, grief, and breaking one free of restraints.[11]

"Good in Goodbye" is a catchy break-up anthem[17] with a dark melody[18] that according to Beer is about "cutting ties with a toxic person, no matter how tough it can feel at the time, is sometimes the only way forward." "Default", a sentimental ballad, details Beer's struggles with anxiety and suicidal ideation.[19] "Selfish" is a slow-tempo pop "breakup ballad"[20] with stripped down production that emphasizes Beer's vocals.[20] Lyrically, the song is about toxic relationships.[13] "Stained Glass" is a downbeat ballad about public scrutiny and Beer's struggles with mental health.[21][22] The song's production begins with just piano before adding drums on the song's chorus and Beer's vocal performance was described as "haunting and beautiful".[23][21] "Sour Times" was inspired by Tame Impala, with lyrics detailing Beer's experiences with harassment and getting taken advantage due to a mentally vulnerable state. The country ballad "Homesick" samples a dialogue of the sci-fi animated sitcom Rick and Morty, which Madison states is her favorite cartoon. Primarily, the songs talks about social alienation and Beer's abandonment issues, by referencing her beliefs in outer space species. The album closes with "Everything Happens For A Reason", a country ballad with 50s-60s influences, in which the lyrics suggest that Beer will never heal from her pain, and remains looking for its reasons.[12]

The main writers of the album, Kinetics & One Love, who also worked with Beer on As She Pleases are also writers of fellow artist Melanie Martinez, whom Beer is inspired by and "loves", and is the reason she chose her writers specifically.[16]

Singles[edit]

"Good in Goodbye" was released as the album's lead single on January 31, 2020.[19] It reached number 15 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart and impacted contemporary hit radio in Italy on April 3, 2020.[24] The song received a music video that accompanied the song's release.[25]

"Selfish" was released as the album's second single on February 14, 2020. It reached number 19 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart as well as entering official charts in Canada, Ireland and the UK. It impacted contemporary hit radio in the United States on May 19, 2020.[26] The song also received a music video that was directed by Beer herself.[27]

"Baby" was released as the album's third single on August 21, 2020, along with a music video.[28][29]

"Boyshit" was released as the fourth and final single from the album on December 11, 2020.[30]

Promotional singles[edit]

"Stained Glass" was released on April 3, 2020, as the album's first promotional single.[23]

"Blue" was released to radio outlets in March 2021 and promoted through live performances.

"Everything Happens for a Reason" was released as a promo to radio in Germany by her label in April 2021.

Tour[edit]

On May 17, 2021, Beer announced a 26-date North American tour, titled the Life Support Tour, which was followed on June 9 with a 23-date European leg of the tour. On July 30, she announced Maggie Lindemann and Audriix would be the opening acts for the North American leg. Leah Kate was announced as the European leg opener on March 15, 2022. The tour began on October 18, 2021 in Toronto at Queen Elizabeth Theatre and ended on November 28, 2021 in Los Angeles at The Wiltern, the European leg picked up on March 28, 2022 in Madrid at La Riviera and concluded on April 28, 2022 in Oslo at Vulkan Arena.[31]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic71/100[36]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[32]
Beats Per Minute72%[33]
NME[34]
Pitchfork5.9/10[35]

Life Support was met with generally positive reviews from critics, many praising her vocal presence and the album's subject matter. According to Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, critics gave Life Support a score of 71, based on four reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[37]

Writing for Beats Per Minute, JT Early said: "Life Support is a lovingly-crafted project which explores mental health, heartbreak, toxicity and self-assertion. The album presents an array of lush pop and R&B tracks connected through decadent orchestration. The soundscapes here are cinematic and cohesive, while Beer's versatile vocals easily go from sultry to dreamily resonant to emphatically cold. Life Support is a victorious debut from a singer whose determination and passion has allowed her to overcome any naysayers and detractors."[33] Hannah Mylrea of NME wrote: "On a lesser album, the eclecticism might lead to a lack of coherence, but this record is always threaded through with Beer's diaristic lyricism. With its consistent, gut-punching honesty and witty wordplay, you'll always find something special on Life Support."[34] Marcy Donelson of AllMusic said: "The album's 17 tracks address subject matter including breakups, grief, and struggles with mental health with a mix of pop, R&B, and alternative stylings."[32]

Commercial performance[edit]

Life Support entered the national charts in various territories. In the United States, it debuted at number 65 on the US Billboard 200 with 11,800 album equivalent units, according to Rolling Stone charts.[38] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 28, making it Beer's first top 40 on the country. Elsewhere, the album debuted at number 21 in Ireland, number 23 on Canada, and number 33 in New Zealand.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are produced by Leroy Clampitt and Madison Beer, except where noted.

Life Support track listing[39]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Beginning"0:58
2."Good in Goodbye"2:22
3."Default"
1:57
4."Follow the White Rabbit"
  • Beer
  • Keen
  • Clampitt[41]
3:00
5."Effortlessly"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Clampitt
  • Paul Shelton
2:49
6."Stay Numb and Carry On"
  • Beer
  • Clampitt
  • Dussolliet
  • Sommers
2:44
7."Blue"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Clampitt
3:50
8."Interlude"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Clampitt
1:50
9."Homesick"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Dussolliet
  • Sommers
3:47
10."Selfish"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Jaramye Daniels
  • Dussolliet
  • Clampitt
  • Sommers
3:43
11."Sour Times"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Clampitt
  • Dussolliet
  • Sommers
2:45
12."Boyshit"
2:40
13."Baby"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Dussolliet
  • Clampitt
  • Sommers
3:28
14."Stained Glass"
  • Beer
  • Dussolliet
  • Clampitt
  • Sommers
3:28
15."Emotional Bruises"
3:01
16."Everything Happens for a Reason"
  • Beer
  • Clampitt
2:26
17."Channel Surfing / the End"
  • Beer
  • Boland
  • Clampitt
  • Shelton
  • Dussolliet
  • Sommers
1:44
Total length:46:32

Notes[edit]

  • "Boyshit" is stylized in all caps.
  • "Homesick" contains excerpts from the adult animated sitcom, Rick and Morty, performed by Justin Roiland.[12]
  • "Channel Surfing / the End" samples Beer's 2019 single "Dear Society" as well as parts of a demo version of "Stained Glass".

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal and AP Studio's Instagram.[39][42]

  • Madison Beer – vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (tracks 2,12), songwriting (all tracks), production (tracks 1-11,13-17), executive production (all tracks)
  • Leroy Clampitt – songwriting (1-5,7,8,10-17), production (all tracks), executive production (all tracks), bass (1-11,13,15-17), guitar (1,2,4-7,14,16), keyboards (1,2,5,8-11,13,15), programming (1,2,5,7-14,16), vocal production (1-16), drums (2,4-11,13-17), piano (3,12,17), synthesizer (3,4,7,12), strings (7), record engineering (10), electric guitar (12)
  • Kinetics & One Love – songwriting (2,6,9,10,11,13,14,17)
    • One Love – production (2,6,13,14), bass (2,13), drums (2,6,13), keyboards (2,13), programming (2,6,11,13), piano (11), vocal production (13), backing vocals (17)
  • Elizabeth Lowell Bowland – songwriting (2,5-11,13,15,17), vocals (6), backing vocals (2,5,11,17), synthesizer (13)
  • Isaiah Dominique Libeau – songwriting (2)
  • Rachel Keen – songwriting (3,4), keyboards (3)
  • Paul "Phamous" Shelton – songwriting (5,17), backing vocals (5)
  • Jaramye Daniels – songwriting (10)
  • Jake Banfield – songwriting (12)
  • Pete Nappi – songwriting (12), production (12), bass (12), guitar (12), keyboards (12), programming (12)
  • Upsahl – songwriting (12), backing vocals (12)
  • 1993 – production (15)
  • E. Kidd Bogart – songwriting (15)
  • Larus "Leo" Arnarson – songwriting (15), bass (15), drums (15), keyboards (15)
  • Oscar Scivier – executive production (all tracks)
  • Smoke – miscellaneous production (2), programming (2)
  • Bart Schoudel – vocal engineering (12), vocal production (12)
  • Kinga Bacik – strings (1,16,17), cello (3,6,10)
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering (all tracks)
  • Mitch McCarthy – mixing (all tracks)

Design[edit]

  • Amber Park – creative direction, design
  • Amber Asaly – photography
  • Isabella Pettinato Santos – assistant

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Life Support
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[43] 36
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[44] 39
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[45] 47
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[46] 129
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[47] 23
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[48] 32
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[49] 85
Irish Albums (OCC)[50] 21
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[51] 40
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[52] 33
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[53] 34
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[54] 46
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 55
UK Albums (OCC)[56] 28
US Billboard 200[57] 65

References[edit]

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  3. ^ @madisonbeer. "Don't Waste Your Time Or Time Will Waste You". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021.
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