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"The Maybe Man" on Spotify
"The Maybe Man" song-by-song review
Maybe Man

"I wish I was me, whoever that is/I could just be and not give a sh**/Hey, I'll be whatever makes you a fan/'Cause I don't know who the h*** I am"

As the first song on the album, "The Maybe Man" sets the scene for our unlikely hero, Jack, as he sings a string of dreams and doubts he has for life. Like AJR's previous albums, "The Maybe Man" acts as the overture — but not in the way fans were expecting. Unlike their previous albums, each stanza in The Maybe Man corresponds to a different song in the album:

Verse One: "Touchy Feely Fool," Verse Two: "Yes I'm a Mess," Verse Three: "Turning Out Pt. iii," Verse Four: "Steve's Going to London," Verse Five: "The Dumb Song," Verse Six: "Hole in the Bottom of My Brain," Verse Seven: "The DJ Is Crying For Help," Verse Eight: "I Won't," Verse Nine: "Inertia," Verse 10 and 11: "God is Really Real" and Verse 12: "2085."

In the outro, Jack belts the lyric, "Here I go again," signaling the cycle between life, death and self-discovery is starting once more for the listener and The Maybe Man. While I'm still unsure about the tone change over halfway through the piece, it still a very impactful way to start the album.

Touchy Feely Fool

"I'm screwed/But, hey, what can you do?/I'm a touchy feely fool/I would give anything to not give a sh** about you."

This song is a people pleaser's anthem. Despite the red flags, AJR encapsulates the inability to leave someone with obvious red flags and how it mentally affects an individual. I love when Jack screams his frustrations into the pre-chorus, but it switches back to the happy chorus because a people pleaser will continue please, of course. The more I listened to the song, the more I adapted to the ending, and now I very much enjoy this number.

Yes I'm A Mess

"And I took a job for just July/But feels like I might be here for life/Yeah, I’m in it now, I'm in it now/Could I start again somehow?"

"Yes, I'm A Mess" almost immerses the listener into a western movie set in 2023. From the whistling to the steady drumming, the listener voyages on through life while conscious they are making more of a mess of it. It's relatable and catchy, and you'll find yourself whistling along soon, too.

The Dumb Song

"When we go down/When kingdom come/Don't look at me, don't look at me/I'm just too dumb." 

While this song is called "The Dumb Song," it spotlights the painful feeling of perceiving yourself as "too dumb." With gang vocals inspired by the Beach Boys, horns and guitar give the song a facade of being lighthearted, but also give weight to the insecurity of stupidity.

Inertia

"I'm an object in motion, I've lost all emotion/My two legs are broken, but look at me dance/An object in motion, don't ask where I'm going/'Cause whеre I am goin' is right where I am." 

This is my personal favorite song of this entire album. Inertia focuses on someone who knows their life is messed up but doesn't try to do anything to change the trajectory. This song highlights the numbing experience of living a subpar life and the general feeling of being lost, which is something I can definitely relate to. Though I wish the drums and horns hit harder, it's the song I connect with the most, and I will continue listening to it on repeat.

Turning Out Pt. iii

"'Cause half the time I can't love right/And I'm half yours, and you're all mine."

Turning Out Pt.iii ends a beloved trilogy, written and lived by Ryan Met. After the previous songs question being ready for love and whether the feeling is actually love, this song illustrates the anxiety of wondering if you are on the right path with this person. While this song dances around dreams and doubts, it feels like the big hug Ryan needed and a reminder that love is little, quiet and worth waiting for.

Hole in the Bottom of My Brain

"Heads up, I'm sorry to be that guy/Heads up, I'm lookin' to just get by/Let's just say, let's just say we're fine." 

Inspired by the children's song, “There’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea,” this song illustrates the constant feeling of missing something. The dichotomy of a children's song melody while mentioning heavier topics of addiction and struggling mental health is an interesting choice. I didn't agree with it at first until I realized the interesting irony of song. While the lyrics are stronger than the melody in this piece, it deserves a listen.

The DJ is Crying for Help

"Oh, hired, hired, can I get hired?/Yeah, I fu**** up, but I did it my way/I'm tryin', tryin', I can start Friday/Gettin' a life's a little like dyin'."

This is another top pick of the entire album for me, ever since it came out as a single all the way from November 2022. As the song title suggests, the singer is crying for help. They don't know what to do or what step to take next. The violin after the chorus ties seamlessly alongside the gang vocals, and the melodies together sound similar to what a panic attack feels like. As someone who has had panic attacks before, it's almost comforting to find a song that illustrates the internal commotion. This is one of the songs where the powerful music production shines through.

I Won't

"So I do what you tell me to and do it to death/But I can't do this sh** again."

This song is meant get your head banging along with its simple drums and rhythm. With the fast-paced singing, it feels like all the thoughts in the singer's head are finally getting out and recognizing the emotions and ideas they had been holding back. It's a thought-train song — a great song to simply just vibe and sing along with.

Steve's Going to London

"While you try to find some meaning in your life before you die/Here's a bunch of random sh** to waste your time."

This song didn't sell me at first because, unlike the rest of the album, it didn't have the same emotional hold or bigger meaning. But that's part of the point — it serves as the album's brain-empty track: a song about writing song. Add in the gang vocals bringing the song together, and it is a fun listen overall.

God is Really Real

"God is really real when you really, really need Him/Karma just appears when you suddenly believe it." 

This is the most emotional song of the album. Whether you are religious or not, "God is Really Real" highlights the desparation one feels when a loved one is close to the end. You hear it in Jack's vocals, and you hear it in the rise of the guitars and choir. It's a beautiful track for anyone who has ever lost someone.

2085

"So if this is me, then I'll do my best/I'll take all the sh** so you'll never have to/You can be you, and I'll be the rest/Yeah, maybe that's who the h*** I am."

The ultimate conclusion to the album is incredible. While on the first listen it feels as though two songs are strung into one, it works in the context of "The Maybe Man" as a whole. He is able to reflect on what he learned — the value of connection, creativity and constant growth  — and say so in both a warm, guitar-driven piece and a larger-than-life ballad all tied in one song.

One of my favorite aspects of the song is after Jack repeats how "you" need to get better, he states, "I gotta get better; I'm all that I've got." To me, this alludes that there is a part of The Maybe Man in each of us; when we get lost in life, we all need to be reminded that we have to keep going at whatever pace is best for us.

Varsity volleyball senior night displays ‘sisterhood,’ seniors reflect on leadership, legacy

Senior+Gemma+Larbalestier+dives+for+the+ball+during+the+game+against+Milken+Community+School.+The+varsity+volleyball+senior+night+ceremony+took+place+after+the+game.+Photo+by+Rebecca+Aranda.
Senior Gemma Larbalestier dives for the ball during the game against Milken Community School. The varsity volleyball senior night ceremony took place after the game. Photo by Rebecca Aranda.

From a live DJ to a sports announcer to Archer’s panther mascot, varsity volleyball senior night abounded with with energy and spirit. The non-senior members of the team decorated the gym at Park Century School with posters and signed jerseys and gave each of the three seniors flower bouquets to commemorate their Archer volleyball experiences.

Varsity volleyball senior night took place at 6 p.m. Sept. 26, and the team played against Milken Community School. Archer defeated Milken 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-11).

“We all played really strong, and we all played really hard. We’d beaten this team before, but we really didn’t underestimate them. We all really connected as a team,” varsity volleyball player Lili Franks (’25) said. “I think the season has been a little tough for us … It was definitely a challenge at first, but our chemistry as a team has really grown throughout the past two months that we’ve been playing together.”

Senior Isabella Jeffery and junior Dylan Evans-Robinson reach for the volleyball during a set against Milken Community School. Archer won the game 3-0. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Aranda)

Senior Isabella Jeffery said she has been waiting for her senior night since she first joined the volleyball program in middle school, and the event surpassed her expectations.

“I’ve been waiting for my senior night since sixth grade, honestly. I was like, ‘That’s going to be me someday,’ so I was super excited to finally have my turn,” Jeffery said. “I hope to leave the legacy of sisterhood. This year, bringing everyone together to talk about our intentions, to stay mentally focused before we go out and practice, is huge because that helps us connect before we go on the court. That’ll just bring us closer throughout the year.”

Senior Micaela Boxer-Wachler serves to begin a point against Milken Community School. The team’s record this season is 6-3. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Aranda)

Archer’s athletic department provided a fan bus for upper school students that transported the students from Archer to Park Century School. Many faculty and staff members also attended the event to celebrate the seniors. Junior Phoebe Ramirez dressed up as the Panther for the festivities.

“I remember the first senior night game I went to, there was a Panther. And I was like, ‘Whoa, that looks really fun,’ so I decided I want to do that,” Ramirez said. “It was really hot, but it was really fun. I got to dance around, and nobody knew who I was, so I didn’t feel embarrassed or anything. I would definitely do it again.”

Senior Gemma Larbalestier said she attributes her leadership skills to her involvement in the Archer volleyball program. She said she hopes to instill a sisterhood and express the importance of being your best self to her team.

“I hope to just leave the camaraderie that comes with being on a sports team with the team. And I hope to make everyone have a really great relationship with volleyball because that’s really what school volleyball and school sports in general is about,” Larbalestier said. “It’s about having a great time and also being competitive and representing your school in the best way possible way. So, just being better players and people in general is the legacy that I would want for Archer volleyball.”

Senior Gemma Larbalestier receives flowers from her team. All of the non-seniors members gifted flower bouquets to the three seniors at the beginning of varsity volleyball senior night. (Photo Credit: Rebecca Aranda)

Jeffery said she felt very supported and loved by the Archer community at senior night, and the impact the volleyball program has had on her transcends the court.

“Archer volleyball has definitely groomed me to be a leader,” Jeffery said. “When I’m playing volleyball in college, I can bring what I have learned to wherever my gym will be.”

The non-senior members of the team gave speeches for the seniors at the event and highlighted their contributions to the season.

“Getting to know the seniors has been the peak of my volleyball season … They’re all equally as talented as they are radiant and funny and smart,” Franks said. “Both on and off the court, they’ve been amazing people to have in my life. So with senior night, it was just an amazing experience because I think that all the speeches really touched them, and I think that they all came together as leaders for this game.”

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About the Contributor
Surya Patil
Surya Patil, Sports Editor
Surya Patil joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became Sports Editor in 2022. She is currently on the Archer varsity tennis team and on the Athletic Leadership Council. When she is not reporting or playing tennis, you can find her watching 2000s tv shows and spending time with her friends and family.

Comments (1)

As part of Archer’s active and engaged community, the Editorial Board welcomes reader comments and debate and encourages community members to take ownership of their opinions by using their names when commenting. However, in order to ensure a diverse range of opinions, the editorial board does allow anonymous comments on articles as long as the perspective cannot be obtained elsewhere, and they are respectful and relevant. We do require a valid, verified email address, which will not be displayed, but will be used to confirm your comments. Because we are a 6-12 school, the Editorial Board reserves the right to omit profanity and content that we deem inappropriate for our audience. We do not publish comments that serve primarily as an advertisement or to promote a specific product. Comments are moderated and may be edited in accordance with the Oracle’s profanity policy, but the Editorial Board will not change the intent or message of comments. They will appear once approved.
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    Anaiya AsomughaOct 2, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    YAAAAAAAY VOLLEYBALL SENIORS!!!!!

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