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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.

Annual Parent-Daughter Round-Robin bonds tennis community, showcases athletic development

Archer+varsity+tennis+player+Surya+Patil+%28%E2%80%9925%29+high-fives+her+uncle+during+a+match+against+her+sister%2C+Beyla+Patil+%28%E2%80%9927%29%2C+and+her+dad+at+the+annual%C2%A0Parent-Daughter+Round-Robin.+Teams+played+doubles%2C+the+winners+received+prizes+and+at+the+end+of+the+day%2C+the+Archer+tennis+community+celebrated+senior+night.+Photo+by+Kamala+Garg.
Archer varsity tennis player Surya Patil (’25) high-fives her uncle during a match against her sister, Beyla Patil (’27), and her dad at the annual Parent-Daughter Round-Robin. Teams played doubles, the winners received prizes and at the end of the day, the Archer tennis community celebrated senior night. Photo by Kamala Garg.

Neon green tennis balls flew through the air as Archer varsity tennis players and their family members competed in the Annual Parent-Daughter Round-Robin Oct. 15. The players teamed up with their family members in doubles matches against another partnership on the other side of the net.

Head Coach Paula Feigenbaum awarded prizes to the team that won the most games during the round-robin and to the “best-dressed” duo. This year, sophomore Tatiana Bojeczko and her mom won both prizes. Junior Parker Keston and her mom won the “best-dressed” award.

Feigenbaum created this tradition her first season coaching Archer tennis eight years ago. She said her favorite part about the annual round-robin is the connection it brings between not only parents and their daughters, but also between parents. She said the round-robin event often inspires parents to play tennis together outside of the event.

“Parents see each other often on campus. Seeing the parents play with their daughters against other Archer parents is another way of extending the tennis community,” Feigenbaum said. “By having these events, parents become social friends and tend to play outside of the Parent-Daughter Round-Robin on their own.”

Junior Presley Forster has played tennis at Archer since seventh grade, and this was her second year participating in the event. She said the highlight of the round-robin was being able to connect with the Archer tennis community through fun tennis matches.

“I love the bonding and connections formed between the parents and the daughters throughout,” Forster said, “and getting to play different parent-daughter duos.”

Players who do not have an older relative who plays tennis were paired with Archer alumni parents who once participated with their daughters in the event.

There’s no better joy than playing tennis with your child.

— Head Coach Paula Feigenbaum

“I know many of the Archer parents play tennis. There’s no better joy than playing with your child,” Feigenbaum said. “Two alumni parents came to fill in and play because they love it so much.”

April Thrun is the mom of varsity tennis player Zoe Gazzuolo (’25). The two have been a part of the event for the past six years. Thrun said her favorite part about the round-robin tradition is being able to feel a part of the Archer tennis program and to create memories with her daughter.

“It’s nice to be part of the Archer tennis community. It’s great to see the girls grow across the years,” Thrun said. “It’s a very friendly, community-driven, teambuilding experience that Paula provides for the families. It’s really great to play with Zoe and have those lifetime memories.” 

Following the Parent-Daughter Round-Robin, the Archer tennis community, including both the JV and varsity teams, celebrated senior night to honor the senior players’ contributions to the team. Sophomore varsity player Oona Seppala said it was an “incredible” experience and a night of gratitude for the seniors.

“All of the seniors this year have been on the team for years and they truly have changed this program,” Seppala said. “They’re the reason Archer tennis has the reputation that it does. We gave them speeches to recognize the hard work that they’ve done. They deserved it.”

Seppala has played on the varsity tennis team since her freshman year, and this is the second year she attended the Parent-Daughter Round-Robin event with her dad, who played Divison I tennis at Yale University. Seppala said her dad’s passion for tennis inspired her to play the sport from a young age.

“It’s nice because it’s a way for him to see all of my growth from being on the tennis team, and I have fun showing him what I can do,” Seppala said. “The parents have a lot of spirit and energy, which is what makes the entire round-robin so fun. The parents get into it, but at the end of the day, it’s about the girls on the team. All the parents are so proud of their kids.” 

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About the Contributor
Tavi Memoli
Tavi Memoli, Senior Reporter
Tavi Memoli joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now returning as a senior reporter in 2023. She plays indoor and beach volleyball and is currently in her third year on the varsity team. She loves baking, surfing, and listening to music in her free time.

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