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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.

‘It’s for anybody who wants to dance’: Festival of Dance showcases student-choreographed dances

Dancers twirled, flipped and jumped in solo, duet or group performances during this year’s Festival of Dance. Loud cheers and claps echoed through the courtyard every time performers entered and exited the stage.

Eighth through 12th grade dance class students hosted the annual Festival of Dance May 9 in the courtyard during lunch. There were 22 performances and 59 dancers, and all but one dance was student-choreographed.

Archer’s dance program initially put on Festival of Dance as a way for students who were taking dance classes outside of Archer to showcase their abilities to the community, but it has since expanded to include students from the eighth grade and upper school dance companies.

In order to perform at Festival of Dance, students had to submit a proposal outlining their dance. Dance Troupe Director Andrea Locke says she gives her students no theme, parameters or style to adhere to, so they are free to explore their interests and choose whatever they like. 

“[Festival of Dance] is a bookend with dance troupe — it’s for anybody who wants to dance, no matter if they’ve never had any dance experience,” Locke said. “Anyone who’s never even choreographed, or thought of it, can have that opportunity as it relates to their classes. We had a couple girls dance out there that had never choreographed before.” 

Student choreographer and dancer Lily Poon (‘25) said she enjoyed the hands-on aspect of creating her own choreography with Allie Yang (‘25), called “Everywhere, Everything.” In addition to “Everywhere, Everything,” Poon also performed in “Attention In The House!,” which was choreographed by juniors Sofia Cianciolo, Bryce Collis, Sydney Curry, Ella Dorfman and Lucy Williams. 

“We’ve been learning choreo in class, and then we would do all the spacing,” Poon said. “It’s fun how it’s very student-organized. Teachers are just supervising while students figure out everything else.” 

Students vote to choose which dances are showcased during Festival of Dance.

Frankie Scott (’27) flips over Alex Sunshine (’27) in their self-choreographed dance titled “Private Landing.” This year’s Festival of Dance took place, May 9, in the courtyard and featured 21 original choreographies and 59 dancers. (Photo credit: Melinda Wang)

“It’s always been a joy of mine to watch people who have never choreographed have their classmates believe in them [and] select them,” Locke said. “It’s a joy for me as I mentor them, especially if [they say], ‘You know, Ms. Locke I’m not so sure,’ [and I say] ‘Okay, why don’t you try this, why don’t you try that.’”

Student choreographer and dancer Bernice Wong (‘26) choreographed a dance with Olivia Broock (‘27) called “Doomsday.” Wong was also in “America Has A Problem,” which was choreographed by Violet Lieberman (‘27).

“We — me and Olivia — came up with it and danced and kept practicing it over and over again,” Wong said. “And then for Violet’s dance, she just taught us the choreography. We just had to do it over and over again to clean some parts that were messy.”

Poon said learning dances for Festival of Dance takes one to two months while learning dances for Night of Dance take five to six. Poon added that while Night of Dance is a longer production, she enjoys being a part of both shows. 

“I love how FD [Festival of Dance] is all student-choreographed. I feel like when a student choreographs, you really get the best reflection of the dancers and personal emotions,” Poon said. “There’s something so vulnerable about FD that I love, and ND [Night of Dance] I love because it’s such a huge production and also so much thought goes into the theme. There’s a storyline that goes throughout it, and FD is more like a collection of dances.”

Locke said her favorite part about Festival of Dance is seeing how student choreographers react to their own work. 

“What I enjoy most is watching the confidence, enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment that comes out, whether they dance or whether they choreograph. It’s a different process because at Night of Dance, it’s usually mostly guest choreographers, adult professional [and] some students as well,” Locke said. “I love that [the student choreographers] get to see and feel the support of their community.”

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About the Contributors
Melinda Wang
Melinda Wang, Senior Reporter
Melinda Wang joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now a senior reporter. She takes art classes and is invested in community service outside of Archer. When she isn't doing homework, you can find her reading, sketching or taking photos.
Meredith Ho
Meredith Ho, Senior Reporter
Meredith Ho joined Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and became a senior reporter in 2023. She is on the Archer swim team, a member of the Orchestra Leadership Team, and the co-leader of the Animal Rights Club. In her free time, you can find her riding a bike and hanging out with her friends and family.

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