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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.

Commentary: Thank you, Oracle

Photo credit: Audrey Chang
My press passes from the last two years are placed next to each other. As my senior year comes to a close, I reflected on my three years on The Oracle and how much this experience and community has meant to me.

“Do you have telepathy?” “Which one of you is evil?” As identical twins, my sister Annabelle and I have been asked some very strange questions. All our lives, people have assumed that because we look exactly alike, we are exactly alike. But, of course, like any two people, we’re not. My experiences as a twin have instilled in me the importance of feeling understood, especially since she knows me better than I know myself.

Because people tend to group us as “the twins” and often overlook our individual traits, I try to pay close attention to the particular qualities of everyone around me. I think this appreciation for distinct perspectives — and desire to understand what makes each person unique — is what drew me to journalism. 

I’ve always loved writing as a way to understand and tell stories, whether creating fictional worlds or analyzing texts in English classes over the years. Beginning my work with The Oracle, however, I was worried I would not be good at writing about real people, or even worse, expressing my own opinions. But with each article, I came to love covering issues important to me in a way that lets them take on a broader significance or impact in a community.

My first realization of this ability was with my “big story” feature — an assignment every reporter completes during their first year on staff — on the psychological impact of food allergies, which is something I have struggled with my whole life. When one of the teens I interviewed told me reading the final story made her feel less alone in her experience, I realized that journalism can make people feel understood, and I’ve tried to carry that mission throughout every interaction, interview and article I’ve worked on the last three years.

In addition to channeling my own passions and interests into my reporting — from book-banning and my experiences as a twin to climate change and the First Amendment’s impact on scholastic journalism — The Oracle has expanded my perspective through others’ stories, whether I’m writing about NCAA women’s basketball, art as activism, AI’s intersection with humanities or mental health challenges around the holidays.  

At the same time, the one-of-a-kind Oracle community made me feel appreciated. Everyone’s support made me more comfortable expressing my opinions on and off the page: in other classes, extracurriculars and my life generally. I started to understand that channeling my passions strengthens stories and makes them even more meaningful to me, making me much more confident in my writing and opinions.

As news editor and then editor-in-chief, I wanted to help create a space for other people to feel this way as well. This goal has been at the center of my leadership and why I am so grateful for my role. Through helping others edit and strengthen their pieces, celebrating each other’s accomplishments and getting to know our staff as individuals, I’ve hoped to help all reporters feel cared about and confident like I became due to other editors’ leadership.

One classic Oracle activity is “share the love,” where we shout out things we appreciate about people on staff — whether for taking an amazing featured image, experimenting with a new story form, giving helpful feedback or bringing positive energy to class. Now, I want to share the love with all of the passionate, dedicated reporters I’ve worked with over the last three years, to Ms. Taylor for making this the incredible program it is and to all of the editors I’ve worked with and who came before me — I’ve always looked up to and strived to emulate their leadership.

Through writing over 60 articles — as well as editing and publishing every Oracle article this year — I’ve seen how journalism can amplify a wide range of voices, as well as empower and connect communities of both readers and writers. One of the experiences I’ve most enjoyed on The Oracle has been getting to see other reporters get excited about journalism for the same reasons I do, and I’m incredibly grateful for this community I’ve looked forward to contributing to every day.

Beyond learning a concerning number of obscure AP style rules and having em-dashes infiltrate all forms of my writing, my journalism experiences have shaped me as a student, leader and person, as well as my passion for storytelling. Whether through taking communication classes or joining the newspaper in college, I’m excited to learn more about how to tell inclusive, meaningful stories.

Thank you, Oracle, for allowing me to explore what makes me unique as “just Audrey” and helping me realize that, in the future, I want to continue finding ways to listen to and support others so they can do the same.  

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About the Contributor
Audrey Chang
Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief
Audrey Chang joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became the News Editor in 2022. In 2023, she became the Editor-in-Chief. She played on the Archer varsity tennis team, was a member of the Ambassador Leadership Team Advisory Board and ran the For Goodness Cakes club. In her free time, you could find her baking, surfing and playing with her four dogs. She graduated in 2024.

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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    Gabby KaplanMay 21, 2024 at 8:55 am

    Great commentary Audrey! We will miss you so much! ❤️