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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.

‘A whole new set of eyes’: Middle school Willy Wonka Jr. cast, directors adapt to leave of director

Photo credit: Vivianne Arnold
Middle school students in Willy Wonka look out into the audience while singing “There’s No Knowing.” Archer’s productions of Willy Wonka occurred May 16-18 in the Blackbox Theatre.

From oompa loompas to giant blueberries, middle school performers filled the Blackbox May 16-18, creating a world of “Pure Imagination” for the audience.

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is a musical spinoff of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and tells the story of a young, poor Charlie Bucket who finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar. The ticket grants him and his grandfather a visit to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, along with four other children and their parents from all over the world.

When the show’s original director Samara Kelly went on leave, students and new directors, Ashley Fisher and Reed Farley, had to adjust. Stage manager Lena Sakhnini (’27) said the cast and crew often expected the show to run how Kelly originally planned it, yet that was not always the case.

“The difference in style of Mr. Farley versus Ms. Kelly has shifted the cast,” Sakhnini said. “We’re expecting more Ms. Kelly, but their styles are different, and [the cast] has adapted to that.”

Natalie Subotky (’28) and Hollyn Alpert (’28) both played the lead role of Willy Wonka, alternating who performed every other show. This show was the second time this year that middle school theatre changed directors and had to acclimate to new theatrical visions for their performances. The first time was with their play in the winter “The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus.”

“I feel like there were definitely good things that came out of having a new perspective and vision,” Subotky said. “But we also all do miss Ms. Kelly, and we just want to send our best wishes to her.”

Associate Director Ashley Fisher said that she and Farley tried to keep as much of Kelly’s vision alive, but there were cases where certain elements, such as choreography or lyrics, had to be changed for the good of the production.

“We’re trying to keep as much of her creative vision alive, but when you change directors, there’s a whole new set of eyes on it,” Fisher said. “There were certain things that weren’t finished yet, and with those things, we had to make our own choices.”

Camille Chi (’28), who portrays Charlie Bucket, buys a chocolate bar from the candyman that ends up having a golden ticket inside. In the musical, the candyman often gives Charlie free candy bars because he is poor. “We had to find a way to make the cast still come together and step into the event without that support of our first director,” Natalie Subotky (’28) said. (Photo credit: Vivianne Arnold)

Subotky said it took a team of cast, crew and directors to ensure a smooth transition from script to stage.

“It was definitely a change, but I feel like everyone was really supportive,” Subotky said. “Mia Vosicher, our [assistant director], Jan, who was in charge of the music, Mr. Farley and Ms. Fisher — everyone who worked as a team so that they could best support us in putting on this show and making sure that the show does still go on, even when things do happen.”

Fisher said the directors faced obstacles during the show’s preparation process but not many during tech week. She said their biggest challenge was the amount of time they had to execute the show.

“There’s certain props that we had to find that we didn’t know we had to find. It’s stuff like that – it’s filling in those gaps,” Fisher said. “I think our biggest challenge, in general, hasn’t been this week, it’s just been the time of turnover in terms of two new people coming into this show.”

Sakhnini said the transition of obtaining two new directors was mostly flawless.

“It was a pretty seamless transition in terms of picking up the show,” Sakhnini said. “It didn’t impact tech week because the switch was before that — it was just getting everyone to work together with the cast and crew.”

Despite the tight time frame, Fisher said that the cast and crew were still able to create an amazing show. She said the Blackbox has a special feeling that brought the show together.

“I think that there’s just something so magical about the Blackbox theater — the lights, effects and sets are awesome,” Fisher said. “So I think that seeing it come together where it’s vivid and real, instead of just a rehearsal, was the best moment so far, and everybody felt it.”

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About the Contributors
Gabby Kaplan
Gabby Kaplan, Staff Reporter
Gabby Kaplan joined the Oracle as a Staff Reporter in 2023. She enjoys horseback riding, spending time with her friends, and cooking.
Vivianne Arnold
Vivianne Arnold, Staff Reporter
Vivianne Arnold joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2023. She is a board member of Archer's GSA and is involved in theater. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing D&D with friends and listening to music.

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