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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.

Review: Cobi’s is a gem restaurant in Santa Monica

Photo credit: Shae Killam
Cobi’s exterior at nighttime. Cobi’s, a restaurant in Santa Monica, is only a few blocks away from the beach.

My family has always seen restaurants as a place of reunion, and no restaurant more than Cobi’s. The first time I went to this Michelin star-rated Southeast Asian restaurant was with my cousin and aunts while they were visiting from Vancouver. It quickly became one of our prime dinner spots and, quite possibly, my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. 

The small pink building with wild plants sneaking their way up the walls and lining the roof looks like your ordinary house at first. Once you enter the restaurant, it is divided into two sections: one with floral wallpaper and the other with a straw roof and an open door to an outside garden. 

During my last visit, my family was seated in the garden, which is lined with bougainvillea and other exotic flowers. All of the plates are covered with antique designs and decorated with light colors and bright flowers. As I sat down at my table for the first time, I was unaware of the amazing meal I was about to eat. 

Curry Puffs, layer beside pickled onion and spicy tamarind ketchup. On this particular visit, me and my family sat outside and watched the sun set. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

As far as starters go, the curry puffs are a must. They are crispy on the outside and have curry on the inside which tastes absolutely delicious. They are served warm with pickled onions and tamarind ketchup on the side. 

Shaved papaya salad, mixed with mint, green beans, tomatoes, and spicy dressing. Cobi’s is extremely flexible about dietary restrictions and kept the peanuts on the side since my mom is allergic.  (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

I had never had shaved papaya before trying this Green Papaya salad, but it quickly became a favorite of my family’s. The crunchy papaya soaks up the spicy-sweet flavor and is served alongside cherry tomatoes, peanuts and mint leaves and topped with chili dressing. Overall, it is an extremely refreshing dish. 

Nasi Goreng rice dish with crispy cracker placed on top at Cobi’s restaurant. This dish is probably my family’s favorite because it is so simple and yet delicious. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

If you are looking for an entree that is a safe bet, the Nasi Goreng is the way to go. This fried rice dish is mixed with long beans and fried egg and topped with a crunchy cracker. It is packed with spicy flavor and can be made vegetarian or with chicken or pork. I got the vegetarian version, being one myself, and it was extremely delicious – the wide variety of textures and spices pushed this dish over the top.

Mister Dal curry scooped inside a white bowl at Cobi’s restaurant. This dish was definitely on the spicy side, so I would stay clear if you don’t like spicy food. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

One of my favorite curries from Cobi’s is the Mister Daal, a thick curry with peas and coconut milk. It is amazing on its own, but I would definitely throw in a side of roti – crispy bread – to take it to the next level. 

I am a vegetarian, yet the restaurant offers an assortment of meat dishes that look delicious. One of those dishes is butter chicken with tomato masala and cilantro. My dad, meat lover, usually gets the branzino, which comes in a large portion. 

Creamy thai tea pudding chilled below boba at Cobi’s restaurant. The boba peals sat on top of a lemongrass pudding, and it was cold and refreshing. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

For dessert, I have to recommend the Thai Tea Pudding because it is topped with tapioca pearls and tastes like a refined boba tea. If boba is not your style, the vanilla soft serve with peanuts, brownies and caramel is the way to go.

Strawberry Basil Shaved Ice’ that is completely vegan from Cobi’s menu with added basil leaves placed on top. Made with passionfruit, coconut and tofu cream which was hidden below the ice, the dish overall felt a little interactive with the fixings hiding beneath. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

As a lifelong vegetarian, it can be difficult to find restaurants that fit my dietary restrictions. Cobi’s is extremely vegetarian and vegan friendly, and it even offers a refreshing and unique vegan dessert: strawberry Basil Shaved ice.

Overall, Cobi’s will make for an incredible dinner experience with its fun decor, floral plating and delicious food. This restaurant makes for an extremely tasteful evening

  • Service
  • Quality of Food
  • Amiance
  • Diversity of menu options
  • Affordibility


Cobi’s is an incredible Michelin star-rated restaurant located only a few blocks away from the beach in Santa Monica. The delicious food will make for an incredible evening to spend alone or with your loved ones.

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About the Contributor
Shae Killam
Shae Killam, Staff Reporter

Shaelyn Killam started writing for the Oracle in 2023. She enjoys baking, cooking, writing, and playing with her cat Zevi.

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