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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.

‘Sustainability is for everyone’: Community participates in sustainable activities during Earth Day celebration

Lilly+Swigert+%2830%29+browses+through+secondhand+clothing+items+at+the+clothing+swap%2C+which+allowed+students+to+trade+pieces+with+one+another+to+promote+sustainable+consumer+habits.+The+Archer+Council+for+Sustainability+organized+the+Earth+Day+celebration+Monday%2C+April+22%2C+in+partnership+with+the+Artemis+Center.
Photo credit: Phoebe Measer
Lilly Swigert (’30) browses through secondhand clothing items at the clothing swap, which allowed students to trade pieces with one another to promote sustainable consumer habits. The Archer Council for Sustainability organized the Earth Day celebration Monday, April 22, in partnership with the Artemis Center.

In celebration of Earth Day, the Archer Council for Sustainability and the Artemis Center decked the courtyard out with sustainable activities for students Monday, April 22.

The activities included a clothing swap, upcycling booth, a seed bomb-making station, as well as places to stop by to learn more about sustainability and related service work. Afterwards, ACS invited students to join them in the garden to help with Archer’s composting system and learn how to make recycled paper.

To further inspire students to act on environmental issues, the ACS Executive Board and faculty adviser Casey Huff brought a panel of sustainability professionals to speak to upper school students from 10:30-11 a.m.

The panel included co-founder of JUST Water Drew FitzGerald and Deputy Sustainability Officer for Santa Monica Shannon Parry. The panelists spoke about ways students can participate in environmental activism and emphasized the importance of implementing sustainability to the students’ fields of interest.

Huff said she aims to connect the community with sustainability, and ACS made an effort to create multiple activities everyone was able to participate in.

“This Exec Board in particular really wanted to do something bigger and find ways to engage everybody in our community, thinking about the sixth graders all the way through the seniors,” Huff said.

Junior Annie Altemus helped run the clothing swap, which gave students the opportunity to exchange their items with their peers. According to Altemus, all leftover clothing will be donated to Yes We Can, an organization that assists immigrant families at the border.

“You can even just swap [clothes] with your friends at home. If you have something you don’t wear, you can give it to your friends,” Altemus said. “They’ll get great use out of it.”

Freshman Adella Travers attended the Earth Day celebration and said she enjoyed the event while learning about sustainability.

“I’m definitely going to be aware of how my actions are impacting the natural world, especially in relation to the clothes that I wear and how my choices are affecting the environment at large,” Travers said.

This is the second year Altemus organized the clothing swap. She coordinated a similar event last school year, but it did not take place on Earth Day.

“You don’t need to buy from these big fast fashion corporations in order to get clothes,” Altemus said.

Travers said she looks forward to courtyard events like these and had fun partaking in different activities.

“I think that all of Archer’s courtyard events are a distinctive part of the school’s culture,” Travers said. “And I think that events like this really are a fun way to learn about sustainability.”

Huff said she wants students to take away from the event that there are ways to get involved with sustainability regardless of one’s interests.

“Sustainability is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you know a ton about the science and if you know nothing about science, just whatever speaks to you,” Huff said. “If you’re into art, if you’re into music, if you’re into fashion, whatever, there’s literally a way for you to take that passion and connect it to the environment. We all have to live on this planet.”

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About the Contributor
Phoebe Measer
Phoebe Measer, Staff Reporter
Phoebe Measer became a staff reporter in 2023. She participates in Volleyball and Track & Field, and is in her first year at Archer. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys baking, hiking, spending time with family and friends, and trying new foods!

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