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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.

Ceramics teacher leaves Archer, sculpts legacy

A white glazed vase with flowers sits on a surface. This piece of ceramics was made by intro student Ella Tulloch (’27) in Moon’s class. (Photo credit: Ella Tulloch)

Nestled in the basement, next to the library and photography room, sits the ceramics studio. This is where ceramics teacher Olivia Moon teaches her students the art of sculpting, throwing on the potting wheel and expressing themselves through art.

Moon has taught at Archer for the past seven years. She teaches the introduction, intermediate and advanced ceramics classes and the eighth grade semester-long ceramics and sculpture class. Moon is leaving Archer next year to work as an artist full-time in Sacramento.

Moon was born and raised in Korea until she was 10, when she moved to Lima, Peru. When she was 15, Moon moved to Los Angeles, where she has lived since. Moon said she became a teacher because she loved attending school as a kid, and she appreciates the classroom environment.

“[School is] a place where learning happens and a lot of growth happens,” Moon said. “I’m a person who truly believes in growth mindsets, and I’m an individual who loves to learn new things. That’s why I like to keep learning.”

Throughout her time at Archer, Moon has created her own ceramics pieces, in addition to teaching. Visual Arts Department Chair Marya Alford said that arts teachers’ own work can often be forgotten because they are primarily focused on teaching. To teach her students different techniques, Moon often gives demonstrations in class. Ceramics student Echo Meadows (’25) said she sees Moon’s passion for ceramics during demonstrations. She also said she enjoys seeing Moon’s art in the classroom.

“She’s still working on her professional career while being a teacher, which is just an amazing opportunity for all students to learn from someone who’s actively involved in participating in the industry,” Meadows said.

Moon said her goal was always to become a full-time artist by age 40, so she recently decided to explore new options for her career. She said she wanted a break from the chaos and bustling city of Los Angeles, so when her husband received a job offer in Sacramento, she started to look for opportunities to start her own studio in the area.

Another factor that contributed to Moon’s decision to relocate to Sacramento was so she could spend more time with her child. On weekdays, Moon had to leave for work in the mornings, so she did not get to spend much time with her son.

“He knows that mom is not there in the morning, but that’s going to change,” Moon said. “I will have more time with my son, which I’m really happy about, and I will also have more time for myself.”

Moon said being both a teacher and a mom means she is always taking care of people. She is looking after her students, when she is teaching at Archer, and she is playing with and setting a good example for her son when she is at home.

“I feel like my mind is really full, always,” Moon said. “Someone is always on my mind, whether it’s a student because their senior show is coming up or my son because I heard something from his teacher.”

Moon said it is important for her to recharge and rest in order to bring energy to everything she does each day. She said that while she is always busy, she enjoys what she does.

“It’s very tiring — I’m not going to lie,” Moon said. “But, you smile through the whole thing, so it’s totally worth it.”

As a teacher, Moon said she wanted to expand students’ perspective on ceramics by showcasing how it can be a form of expression. During her time at Archer, Alford said Moon has never kept her curriculum stagnant – she’s constantly developing, expanding and pushing her work as a teacher to be better.

“In seven years, she’s become a master teacher in this beautiful way,” Alford said. “I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Meadows said that Moon caters to individuals’ learning styles while teaching, in order to tap into each of her students’ skills. She also frequently gives in-depth feedback to all of her students.

“Whether it’s more hands-on or visual, she provides a lot of different opportunities for students to showcase their skills,” Meadows said. “She’s just a really thoughtful person.”

Alford said Moon presented a new voice to the ceramics program. While she said she felt heartbroken when she learned Moon was moving away, Alford said her sadness was replaced with a sense of pride in Moon for pursuing her own goals.

“She’s super passionate and dedicated to her work as teacher, but also her own practice,” Alford said. “She’s inspiring.”

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About the Contributor
Katie Ray McKillop
Katie Ray McKillop, Staff Reporter
Katie Ray McKillop joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2023. She is on the surf team and swim team at Archer. In her free time, Katie Ray enjoys painting, baking, reading, and spending time with her friends.

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