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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.

‘It’s truly inspiring’: Archer in Action Fair highlights service, activism work, motivates community involvement

Middle+school+students+listen+to+upper+school+students+explain+the+Riviera+Foundation%2C+which+is+an+organization+that+encourages+tennis+players+to+recycle+their+old+tennis+balls.+Tenth+through+12th+grade+students+educated+the+community+about+the+activism+and+service+they+are+involved+in+at+the+Archer+in+Action+Fair+Friday%2C+Nov.+8.+
Photo credit: Ella Schwartz
Middle school students listen to upper school students explain the Riviera Foundation, which is an organization that encourages tennis players to recycle their old tennis balls. Tenth through 12th grade students educated the community about the activism and service they are involved in at the Archer in Action Fair Friday, Nov. 8.

Poster boards and candy filled the courtyard in celebration of students’ service and activism work during lunch Wednesday, Nov. 8. Tenth through 12th grade students set up posters describing the service and activism they are involved in. Only 10th-12th graders were able to present their service work because they are the only grades eligible for a bronze, silver or gold service medal.

The Artemis Center and the Service Squad held the Archer in Action Fair this year. The fair’s purpose is to encourage students to showcase the projects they are involved in. 

Director of the Artemis Center Beth Gold said one of the main goals for this year’s fair was to show how all students can get involved in service and activism. She said the fair is an opportunity to make students aware of the impactful contributions their classmates are making to society. 

“Ms. Shirk and I think it’s really important that students think about the world beyond themselves,” Gold said. “[They should also] think about how they can contribute to being a civic agent, whether that’s in a service project by volunteering their time and helping others individually. The goal is to make them aware of issues in their community and to feel empowered that they can have a voice and have some agency in making the world a better place, starting with their own local community.”

Many students who participated in the fair have created their own service organizations. Some started them in ninth grade after crafting a service proposal in Gold’s or Shirk’s history class. Each freshman is required to create their own service learning project proposal at the end of ninth grade. Many go on to volunteer with the organizations they chose for the proposal or lead their own.  

For her service project, Jordanna Boxer-Wachler (‘24) created an organization called Art for the Ages that connects senior citizens to art therapy opportunities. She created her organization in 10th grade after planning it in her ninth grade history class. She presented her project for the third time at the Archer in Action fair. 

“I really wanted to do community service, especially after Ms. Gold’s ninth grade class, but I knew that I needed to incorporate my passions into it,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I’ve been passionate about photography for years, and I thought of a way to combine that side of who I am to service.” 

Boxer-Wachler has been running Art for the Ages for three years now. She has recently been visiting senior homes to present her photography and donate her art pieces and specific art projects. 

“I’ve segued into a few other different paths as well,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I lead art projects in some of the homes since many studies show art therapy is beneficial for cognitive and physical functions.”

Mia Vosicher (‘25) participated in the Archer in Action Fair for the first time this year. Through her work with ENGin, Vosicher supports Ukrainian students from ages 9-35 by tutoring them in English. 

“I first heard about [ENGin] through social media,” Vosicher said. “It came up because I follow a lot of Ukrainian help accounts because of my personal heritage — my dad’s from Ukraine; we have a lot of personal connections to the war. I just started working with them this summer, so I’ve been accumulating buddies and students that I’ve been having continuous conversations with.”

Besides running Art for the Ages, Boxer-Wachler is also involved in Archer’s Service Squad. She said she appreciates being able to engage in service through the Archer community and getting to know what programs and organizations students are involved with. 

“[Service Squad] has been a great way to learn about all of the other projects, which are so impressive and making a change,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I am able to do something bigger than just my project.”

Rachel Michiel (’25) also presented her service project for the first time this year. She said she enjoyed being able to promote services for helping food insecurity and supporting food banks. Besides presenting, Michiel said she was excited to learn about all of the other organizations at the fair.

“I remember being a freshman and having to do my service project in ninth grade and just not knowing what to do it about,” Michiel said. “Seeing these concrete organizations that aren’t heavily implemented in society is really cool and inspiring.”

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About the Contributor
Ella Schwartz
Ella Schwartz, Managing Editor
Ella Schwartz joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and became the managing editor in 2023. She was on the board of the Best Buddies Club and Jewish Student Union. She left Archer in January 2024.

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