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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.


"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.


"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.

TV Throwbacks: My 10 favorite 2000s shows

From the reappearance of low-waisted jeans to revisiting “vintage” bands, there is no denying that the 2000s are making a comeback. As a huge fan of 2000s shows, I feel it’s my duty to share some of my favorites with you.

Top 10 2000s TV shows
#10 - The O.C.
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#10 - "The O.C."

As an Angeleno, it is only fitting that this show made this list. Although "The O.C." only ran for four years, its first two seasons are full of memorable, fast-paced storylines. The show focuses on a core group of teenagers and their parents who live very California-like lives. It features iconic 2000s fashion and bands at its very own "Bait Shop," a concert venue. The O.C. is available for streaming on Hulu and Max.

#9 - Survivor
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#9 - "Survivor"

"Survivor" is the O.G. reality-competition TV show that set the foundation for similar popular shows like "The Circle." Over winter break, my family and I binged two random seasons of "Survivor"; all seasons have a new cast and don't need to be watched in order. The format of the game just doesn't get old — participants compete in challenges for immunity and rewards, hoping their fellow teammates do not vote them out. "Survivor" is filled with tension, comedy and quirky characters, including lovable host Jeff Probst. If you love "Survivor," you should also check out "The Amazing Race," another classic reality show. The show is available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix.

#8 - Parks and Recreation
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#8 - "Parks and Recreation"

Easily one of the funniest sitcoms out there, "Parks and Recreation" features Indiana bureaucrat Leslie Knope's journey to install a park in her mission to beautify her town. Co-produced by the same producer as "The Office," this heartfelt show is filled with hilarious characters and small-town shenanigans. The show's best seasons are two, three and four, and it is available for streaming on Peacock.

#7 -  Friday Night Lights
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#7 - "Friday Night Lights"

This is the best sports drama series ever. "Friday Night Lights" is set in Dillon, Texas, where high school football is the foundation of the small town. The show's range of characters and their situations feel very realistic. There is a sense of optimism consistently present in the show that reminds me of "Ted Lasso." "Friday Night Lights" perfectly captures the the magic of Friday night football in southern towns. The show is available for streaming on Netflix.

#6 - Greys Anatomy
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#6 - "Grey's Anatomy"

"Grey's Anatomy" is popular for a reason. The show's iconic characters, like Addison Montgomery, McDreamy, McSteamy and, of course, Meredith Grey, transcend generations. From complicated relationships to unique medical cases to dramatic storylines, "Grey's Anatomy" has everything you want in a drama series. While I admit the show's plot has gone stale, seasons one through 10 deserve credit and are worthy of your time. I recommend you check out the episodes "Losing My Religion," "Death and All His Friends" and "Flight." "Grey's Anatomy" is available for streaming on Netflix.

#5 - Gossip Girl
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#5 - "Gossip Girl"

"Gossip Girl" is a drama primarily following high school students who live ridiculously luxurious lives on the Upper East Side of New York City. The central appeal of the show is the unrealistic lifestyle portrayed, which sets trends in the fashion world as well as inspires the "New York It Girl" aesthetic. Gossip Girl, the show's namesake and trusty narrator voiced by Kristen Bell, is an anonymous blog that posts "tips" to expose scandals and the characters' deepest secrets. Gossip Girl's identity is not revealed until the series finale, keeping viewers invested through all six seasons. "Gossip Girl" is available for streaming on Max.

#4 -  The Sopranos
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#4 - "The Sopranos"

This year, fans are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the iconic Max TV series, "The Sopranos," which features an Italian mafia family in New Jersey. Often regarded as one of the best shows of all time, the acting in this show is unmatched. The show is realistic, suspenseful and most of all, has crazy plot twists. Each episode has a compelling, ingenious storyline that keeps viewers engrossed in the show, which is why it's no surprise it has won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards. My personal favorite episodes are the season two finale "Funhouse" and "Pine Barrens" in season three.

#3 - The Office
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#3 - "The Office"

A fictional TV documentary series showcasing "normal" people working office jobs has received so much love and a huge fan base due in part to its slapstick comedy, but also because of its success in highlighting the beauty and joy of an ordinary life. It appeals to a wider audience of Americans who work typical 9-5 jobs in offices. This show is timeless because of the one and only Michael Scott, the boss, and also the laughingstock of the office. The episodes' hilarious pranks, along with Pam and Jim's love story, are why I love "The Office" so much. "The Office" is available for streaming on Peacock.

#2 - Breaking Bad
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#2 - "Breaking Bad"

"Breaking Bad" is truly one of the most captivating shows out there. The writing is perfection; the storyline of Walter White — a broke high school chemistry teacher turned formidable meth cook — is unable to be replicated. This show features the perspectives of the FDA, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, his partner in crime, and meth-distributing competitors. It's also an action-packed thriller without unnecessary filler episodes."Breaking Bad" is available for streaming on Netflix.

Honorable Mention - Gilmore Girls
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
Honorable Mention - "Gilmore Girls"

If you are looking to experience a show with the ultimate fall and cozy vibe, then "Gilmore Girls" is your best bet. Centered around the daily happenings of a mother-daughter duo who live in a charming small town, this is truly a feel-good Netflix show. My sister put it perfectly when she said, "It's a great show to have on in the background."

#1- One Tree Hill
(Photo credit: IMDb Promotional Image)
#1- "One Tree Hill"

Highly underrated, this TV gem earns the top spot on my list. It is the perfect mix of drama and romance, and its nine seasons make it a perfect binge-worthy 2000s show. "One Tree Hill" tells the tale of two estranged brothers who wind up on their high school's basketball team together. What makes this show unique are the female characters, who actually have personalities going beyond the classic "fighting for a boy's attention" trope. The show's strong female friendships and wild plot lines make it special. It also features the 2000s heartthrob Chad Micheal Murray, making the show even more visually pleasing — I mean, who could look away? "One Tree Hill" is available for streaming on Hulu and Max.

I hope this list inspires you to watch (or rewatch) some of the arguably best tv shows produced in the 2000s. Happy binging!

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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)

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    Gabby KaplanJan 24, 2024 at 1:50 pm

    Amazing, Surya!