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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.

Senior Tea Party recognizes seniors for accomplishments in student groups

Sitting+in+the+sun%2C+seniors+Maia+Alvarez+and+Nina+Sperling+watch+the+Senior+Tea+Party.+The+tea+party+celebrated+the+Class+of+2024s%C2%A0influence+on+student+groups+such+as+the+Robotics+team+and+Invent+team.+
Photo credit: Shae Killam
Sitting in the sun, seniors Maia Alvarez and Nina Sperling watch the Senior Tea Party. The tea party celebrated the Class of 2024’s influence on student groups such as the Robotics team and Invent team.

As the sun shone on the courtyard, seniors smiled as they received thanks from their younger Archer sisters. The annual Senior Tea Party took place Tuesday, May 21st, in the courtyard. There was a special schedule for the day to create available time for the tea party.

The party honored seniors who participated and contributed to various student groups and activities. Non-seniors presented personal speeches and gifts to commemorate seniors’ long-term commitments and impacts.

Gifts included mini waffle makers, flowers, gift bags, cards and sweet treats. Education Council, Executive Board, and the Service Squad sang original songs to celebrate their seniors.

All students were allowed to dress in floral attire for the tea party. The school provided lemonade, Coca-Cola, water and cookies for seniors. They also provided cookies for the rest of the community. 

Service Squad member Ella Dorfman (’25) introduced a parody of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus  to which all members of the squad sang along. All lyrics were modified to celebrate Service Squad seniors.

“We walked in Ms Shirk’s room on the first day with a passion for service, welcome to the land of making an impact, are we going to fit in?,” members of the Service squad sang.  “Jumped in the room here we are for the first time, first we met Malia, lit up the room with a smile.”

Junior Sydney Curry spoke at the tea party for Black Student Union executive board member Lacy Thompson.

“Since our first meeting, I have known her to be bold confident and incredibly charismatic. Not only has her smile in striking hair colors lit up our campus, so have her humor intellect and grace,” Curry said. “As a board member and one of this years co-presidents she has helped propel our club forward and has been willing to do whatever necessary to help actualize the club’s vision.”

The speeches continued for over an hour, with messages from groups such as Asian American Pacific Islander Student Union, Honor Education Council, Executive Board, Service Squad, Artemis Center, Student Store, Orchestra, Robotics team, and InvenTeam.

Seventh graders hand out temporary flower crowns to celebrate seniors. Flower crowns are usually worn to graduation, as part of the dress code. (Photo credit: Shae Killam)

Olivia Hallinan-Gan gave a speech being a member of the chess team, in honor of fellow senior participants of the club.

“Guinevere, Alondra, Teddy and Liora have been the rocks of our chess team this year.” Olivia Hallinan-Gan said. Three out of four of them have been part of the chess team since the club started three years ago, which we can thank Liora for.” 

The recently graduated seniors have been vital components of the several student groups on campus, and the tea party recognizes their accomplishments in these spaces.

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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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