Mackenzie’s Album of the Week: Three. Two. One. by Lennon Stella

Last week, Lennon Stella dropped a 13-track project called Three. Two. One. that has captured the attention of the entire music community. With a mixture of upbeat and melancholic tracks telling stories of complicated relationships and childhood recollections, this release is sweeping listeners off their feet. If you’re someone who is already familiar with Lennon’s career, you know how far she has come as an artist. 

Lennon Stella has been in the spotlight since she launched her acting career in 2012 on the hit country musical-drama series Nashville, where she played Maddie Conrad and sang alongside her on and off screen sister and musical partner, Maisy Stella. Before beginning her solo career, Lennon was known as half of the sister duo Lennon & Maisy that ultimately led to her overall success. After landing a record deal with RECORDS and Columbia, Stella released her first solo project called Love, me that featured tracks like “La Di Da” and “Bad” that first established her unique electro-pop sound. In the year following its release, Stella was featured on The Chainsmokers track “Takeaway” that further expanded her musical range and audience, preparing the world for Three. Two. One. 

Three. Two. One. is a cohesive body of work that was created to help listeners get to know Stella on a very personal level. The time and energy invested into this album is apparent considering the intricate nature of every melody and raw quality of every lyric that passes. With every listen, each track’s meaning grows in significance. 

The album starts off strong with “Much Too Much,” a song about letting go of a very intense, deep relationship, afraid of making the wrong choice. The lyrics are raw and conversational from the first line, “Do you really want this? / Be honest, be honest,” which directly addresses the person the song is about. The repetition of the ends of certain lines in the verse adds to the emotional draw of the track while establishing its catchiness commonly found in classic pop bops. She continues to directly address the person she is scared to lose in the chorus: “Tell me I should stay, tell me that I’m wrong / Maybe if we wait, then all this will be gone / And what if we’re just, just a little too late? / Just a little too little / Haven’t we got a little much too much to lose?”

Stella continues to focus on her experiences with navigating complex relationships in standout tracks, “Kissing Other People,” “Fear Of Being Alone,” and “Golf On TV.”

“Fear Of Being Alone” further delves into the subject of letting go of the toxic relationship that is present in “Much Too Much.” This song acknowledges her fear of being alone as the reason she keeps holding onto this relationship, showing how it has negatively influenced her logic. Stella expresses her internal struggle with letting go, even though she knows that the feelings that once were there are no longer present. She sings, “No, they can’t fix the type of silence that this is / But I can’t take another lifeless, empty kiss / Still, I keep pushing back the time to call it quits.” 

Lead single, “Kissing Other People” follows up on the theme of a failed relationship, describing the moment you realize you’ve moved on from an ex. Meanwhile,“Golf On TV” juxtaposes a healthy relationship with watching golf on TV: two things Stella doesn’t understand. 

“Older Than I Am,” takes the focus off of relationships, fixating on the way stardom at a young age has affected her. This track describes the innocence that she lost at the hands of fame, seething with authentic vulnerability. The depth of this subject is conveyed beautifully through the simplistic production and heart-wrenching vocal performance that peaks in the last chorus. She sings about the consequences of growing up in the spotlight: “Sometimes, I wish I could do something stupid / Be kinda reckless while I can / Say I don’t give a damn / But I’m older than I am.” 

After familiarizing myself with the entirety of Three. Two. One., the quality of its content is of high caliber and was articulately executed. With each track, Stella’s soul wraps tighter and tighter around every element like carefully crafted art and effectively communicates the stories she intended to tell. Lennon Stella has earned this success and if her talent persists, she will continue to do so in the future.