What the fuck is wrong with 2017? Seriously. Did someone find my old iPod from the 10th grade and think: You know what? We need all these bands to release some new singles this year just to fuck with this guy. I feel like his nostalgic angst will be the fuel that lights 2017 ablaze.
…anyway here’s “Wonderwall”
Just kidding. This is a new Linkin Park song. Kind of.
Once, in a great long while, an album comes out that speaks to a generation. Every track, a master class in prose and lyrical ingenuity. An album with music so powerful it makes the great masters- Chopin, Mozart, Mercury, Bowie – spin in their graves so hard, the friction causes a tectonic shift that would bring the Titans to their knees.
This is not that album.
I don’t know about you but when I saw that they were making a Suicide Squad movie a few years ago, I was incredibly excited at the idea of seeing an on screen portrayal of one of my favorite female comic characters. The current character arcs show her as a strong, independent character who owns her sexuality, and works through extremely intense PTSD due to coming out of an abusive relationship with a psychopath. I was elated at the idea of seeing the idea of the “manic pixie dream girl” get turned on its ear and to have a powerhouse like Harley Quinn subvert the expectations.
However, after seeing the film, it turned out to be just another movie where a potentially interesting female character is treated like crap by an awful dude and its okay because “she’s craaaaaazy” or “well, she loves him and that’s just the way he is, she knows what she’s getting in to” …ugh.
I’m not sure I enjoy defaulting to calling out “the male gaze” in film, but its obvious what happened here. We came for Harley and we got 50 Shades of Problematic Patriarchal Bullshit instead.
What I’m saying is: I really wanted to like this album, but it was ultimately a letdown overall.
Hot off the heels of my time with (The Blood Album) I’ve found myself diving back in to the wild world of early 2000s hardcore and pop-punk; for better or for worse. With that I’ve been doing a sort of “Where Are They Now?!” with my old mix CDs; trying to see if their new songs are more like Fuller House or The Godfather: Part 2.
Im not the kind of person that usually gets excited when I see a debut single from a songwriter who works with the likes of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez, but in an attempt to branch out from the more aggressive songs I decided to give this one a listen.
Julia Michaels is a 23 year old song writer who writes for many musicians I wouldnt give the time of day to, so I would be lying if I said I had high expectations. I would be continuing to lie if I didnt say- emphatically and without a hint of irony- that this single is amazing.
Julia (we’re, in no way, on a first name basis) writes from a place that I think a lot of us can identify with in this song. The whole song calls out what its like to be a little weird, a little crazy, and attracted to those who share this weird and crazy world with us. She openly owns the idea that she might be unhinged, and the guy in the story might be jealous or intense, but unlike a lot of pop songs it never feels like she’s glorifying abuse. Just glorifying what its like to be young and in crazy, stupid, ill advised love.
Maybe its me reading too much in to it, but there also seems to be a sense of realization that this might just be dumb and young love towards the end of the last verse. Which is exactly the kind of self-reflection that we so often assume that the younger generation is incapable of (largely because we incapable of self-reflection at her age). Any song that lets the paint peel away slightly is always a joy to me, and something that shows why she has been such a hard working songwriter.
I suppose if you take anything away from this review, let it be not to judge a book by its cover and give the song a listen. If nothing else, the nostalgia hit for those of us over 27 might be worth the ride. It can be found on both Youtube and Spotify.
The Score: 7/10