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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.

Meet the Candidate: Billie Wakeham ’17

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1. Choose a leadership quote and in a short paragraph explain how it applies to your “style” of leadership and why.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” – John F. Kennedy.

I believe this applies to my leadership style because my personal philosophy is, learning does not stop once a student steps out of a classroom. Learning is everywhere, and anywhere a person chooses to look for it. As a leader, I have learned that is is extremely important to not only learn from your mistakes, but to learn with the group you are leading.

Not only does this create an inclusive environment, but it creates an atmosphere of support. To establish a successful leadership, support must be felt from the one leading as well as those being lead. I believe that leading is leveraging the team’s skills to ensure everyone’s success, and if the group is working together, than everyone can be learning something.

2. As a student council member, what important goals would you have for Student Council? For Archer?

As a student council member, I would like to up the ante of school spirit. While Archer possesses an incredible amount, I believe that school spirit does not only pertain to supporting students at sports games, shows, and tournaments, but also supporting other students across all grades.

I would like to create a strong connection across all grades, without age/seniority being a concern. As for student council, I think that this years ASB did a great job with encouraging student involvement and beginning new traditions, such as hilarious music videos involving teachers, that will be carried on in years to come. I would like to keep these traditions as well as begin new ones.

3. What are your plans for increasing school spirit and student participation at Archer?

To increase school spirit and participation at Archer, I would like to continue incentives such as food, prizes, and spirit points, but also foster a community of positivity. To do so, I will start by having regular scheduled meetings for the ASB to have with all grades. While ambitious and time consuming, I think the first step for support is making sure there is a connection to begin with.

By having ASB meet with individual grades and developing relationships, there will be more student participation due to friendships across grades. In addition, some unique ideas on increasing school spirit are pep-rally’s towards the beginning of the school year. Although towards the end of the year, seniors form a pep rally and in the beginning of the next school year welcome everyone to school during orientation, I feel that there should be a school wide pep rally, featuring a fair in the courtyard entailing excitement for the coming school year.

There will be activities that encourage school spirit. Maybe this can be aligned with the club fair? As well as this, I feel that Archer should create more spirit wear for students that can be worn on game days or on Fridays to show support. To encourage school spirit and participation, at US and MS meetings there should be spirited student recognitions as well as outstanding student recognitions, where students who show exemplary student spirit and/ or academic or artistic excellence get recognized and praised. This way, more students will feel motivated to participate.

4. What role(s) do you think Student Council should play at archer? Is Student Council currently fulfilling that role? If not, what changes do you propose to make it happen?

Student Council plays a big role in organizing the student bodies activities, uniting all grades, and creating a respectful, supportive environment. Included in this simplified list, is a responsibility to be open to feedback as well as adjusting to the schools needs. I think that ASB should be flexible and open to change, but still keeping a structure that the rest of the school is familiar with and feels comfortable abiding by.

I do believe that ASB is fulfilling this role, especially in this recent school year. 2014-2015 ASB has transformed into a complete and total support system dedicated to the student body. The amount of hard work that goes into the ASB is evident through morning assemblies, emails, student activities, and the hours put into fostering a healthy Archer environment.

5. Why do you want to be on Student Council, really?

Having served terms at my middle school, I understand the commitment a program like Student Council demands. I am also a member of Peer Support at Archer, and served on this year’s Dance Troupe Leadership Team. I believe that I have sufficient experience to lead Archer students, and I firmly believe that I am ready to take my leadership skills to the next level and challenge myself.

I am equipped to deal with adversity, celebration, stress, and deal with whatever is thrown towards ASB. I have a passion for leadership, as I am attending two leadership programs this summer. One of them traveling to Fiji with a teen travel group dedicated to community service and leadership, Rustic Pathways, and the other traveling to American University with NSLC, National Student Leadership Conference, to do a course on International Diplomacy. I would like to take on more of a leadership role in the Archer community and extend my influence.

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