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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.

Op-Ed: Is the UN still relevant?

Photo credit: Oona Seppala
The Security Council Chamber lies empty on a June afternoon. During a guided tour of the United Nations Building in New York, I was lucky enough to go into the General Assembly, Security Council, ECOSOC and Trusteeship Council and learn about the purpose of each council.

In early December, Archer’s Model United Nations club held their first meeting of the year. As a returning member of Model UN, I entered eager to hear the student leaders’ plan for our conference. However, a different sentiment stuck with me for weeks: when they acknowledged the UN’s shortcomings in addressing and resolving the Israel-Hamas War.

It got me thinking: How effective is the UN today?

This past summer, I visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with a group of student journalists from the School of the New York Times. As we followed our tour guide inside and listened to a UN intern speak about his work, I couldn’t help but be confused by the UN’s seemingly unresponsive approach to crises. I left with more questions than when I entered.

Established in 1945, the UN became the second intergovernmental organization after the League of Nations. Out of the six main bodies of the UN, the Security Council is primarily responsible for maintaining peace and security; out of their 15 members, five permanent members have veto power — the ability to dismiss resolutions — which has previously proven to be difficult for accomplishing goals to aid countries in crisis.

According to their website, the UN aims to be “[a] place where the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems and find shared solutions.” I believe they are falling short in this mission, for they often get caught in a stalemate when discussing pressing and timely wars or humanitarian crises.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been a paradigm of the ineffectiveness of the Security Council. When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the council in September 2022 requesting war aid for Ukraine, Russia, one of the five permanent veto powers, vetoed a resolution condemning the annexation in parts of Ukraine.

This issue should be considered a conflict of interest for Russia, which the UN should have acknowledged by granting Zelensky’s later request to revoke Russia’s veto power but still allow it to participate in the meetings. The UN did not “find shared solutions” to timely conflicts through Russia vetoing every proposed resolution.

It should be noted that since then, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, WHO and the World Food Program have all sent aid to Ukraine.

The UN’s divided voice continued when the Security Council recently adopted a resolution more than two months after Hamas’ initial attacks on Israel demanding “immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip.” The General Assembly did not condemn Hamas’ terrorist attacks such as suicide bombings and the taking of Israeli hostages, and they have not recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization despite both the United States and the European Union classifying Hamas as such.

I recognize having more than a hundred member states makes finding this unified voice complex. But I also believe the UN is failing to do its job by neglecting to represent Hamas accurately. If the UN can find unity in this, they can send the proper humanitarian assistance and better aid civilians in the war crimes being committed.

This isn’t to say the UN is not making meaningful changes in other fields. The UN’s 17 Goals for Sustainable Development give hope to a greener future. The website explicitly tracks the progress on these goals, with the hopes of meeting each one by 2030. UNICEF is present in over 190 countries and territories and aids millions of children in getting access to necessities.

But are we being too optimistic? With numerous issues including vetoing conflicts, how does the UN manage to get anything accomplished?

Money is a vital factor of the UN; having adequate funds allows for them to provide more aid to more countries quicker. But for years, experts have been claiming the UN is on the verge of bankruptcy. The Administrative and Budgetary committee met Oct. 17, 2023, to urge all member states to aid the organization financially as soon as possible.

The UN budget for 2024 is $3.59 billion USD, not nearly enough to meet their goals. Part of this issue is much of the budget is composed of some required payments from member states and voluntary payments, which sub-organizations in the UN heavily rely on. These voluntary payments, unfortunately, do not move the margin for how impactful the UN can be.

If the UN mandated consistent, assessed contributions from each country to different sub-organizations, based on their respective financial abilities, they could guarantee a more stable budget and idealistically increase efficiency in each organization. However, I can see how member nations will be hesitant to distribute their already scarce funds to the UN and would rather save their funds to manage individual concerns. But perhaps, if these countries put more money into the UN, the UN could assume the responsibility of and actually succeed in resolving these issues with more funding.

These are only two examples of how the UN is falling short of its full potential. If they can adjust their budget and funding and reassess the issues of vetos, the UN can accomplish more.

The UN must make changes and adapt to 21st-century conflicts to be an effective, multipurpose organization.

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About the Contributor
Oona Seppala
Oona Seppala, Senior Reporter
Oona Seppala joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and became a senior reporter in 2023. She plays on the varsity tennis team, is a member of Archer's a cappella group, is on the Honor Education Council and Service Squad. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, and playing instruments.

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