Click here for the full album: The Click by AJR
There are certain songs that make you feel as though life couldn’t get greater, even though it’s just 7 am on a Tuesday morning. Songs that make your head bob and limbs itch to break into a little dance. There are songs with lyrics that make your toes curl and there are lyrics that make you smile brighter than your favourite ice cream after a long day. And then, there are songs whose first memory with you is etched deep into your mind and it turns into a story in itself.
Every song has one of these quirks that make them so different and special to you. And the songs from AJR’S The Click manage to check each and every one of these boxes, somehow adding even more.
I don’t think I will ever forget when I first heard a song from this album. It was a lazy Wednesday morning and I couldn’t have been sleepier. I was up at an ungodly hour to get to school where I had a math class waiting for me. Like always, I was carpooling with a friend. I remember her beaming the second I entered the car because she had new music to introduce me to.
So there I was, not really expecting anything when suddenly, the sound of violins filled up the car. Following the first bar was an unusually pleasant voice going “Hello, Hello”. Before I knew it, the guitar and drums and bass had entered the picture and I was at a loss for words. I couldn’t identify the genre. Was it Indie? Pop? Modern-day show tunes? Whatever it was, it managed to capture a huge part of my heart.
Who They Are:
AJR is an Indie-Pop band created in the dorm room of three brothers, who went on to create and produce this amazing album from the living room of their tiny New York City apartment, drowning away the university blues. Their songs manage to convey every thought you cannot fully fathom.
Whether it is ‘Weak’ where they send you into an existential crisis about every decision you’ve ever made with lyrics like “I should stay strong but I am weak, and what’s wrong with that?” or ‘Drama’ which manages to capture every thought a college student, fresh out of high school and done with the drama it brought. And then, there are songs like ‘Netflix Trip’ which make you picture a young and innocent love story but it’s actually about their love for the show, The Office, and the way the three have grown up with it, singing about the highs and lows of their lives parallel to the plot of the series.
The lyrics are probably my favourite part about their songs with “my favourite colour is you” in Sober Up and “nobody judges me ‘cause I’m not famous, no”. They manage to go from being serious and talking about life to being sarcastic to a level one can only hope to reach.
But behind every poetic lyric of theirs is a reality we live in.
Their lyrics don’t make you feel good because it gives you hope of a better tomorrow. It makes you happy because it assures you that the present is exactly the way it is supposed to be. The lyrics offer the comfort of shared experiences, where growing up is a pain we have to suffer through but it is also a fate you can’t change, just soften. Their songs echo your deepest thoughts and darkest secrets masked by a heavy film of reliability. Every lyric sits well because within those words you can almost see a glimpse of yourself.
The Intangible Element:
The band manages to make the most basic of lyrics sound beautiful, simply because of how real they are. Every song of theirs tells a story; a story we all live in. One that a lot of us try to hide from. But all they do is show you that life isn’t meant to be hidden behind, it’s meant to be embraced with all your mistakes, choices, dreams and past experiences.
However, their lyrics aren’t all that makes AJR what they really are. Their use of instruments and tunes is something I have never seen an artist do. Every song has that one factor that makes it so distinct but its common essence is completely unmissable, strung together beautifully (in true theatre fashion) in an Overture at the beginning of the album.
AJR are the kind of artists who never get the praise they deserve and the recognition they lack. It is strange to see such a young band use the elements of a typical western classical style and add not only pop but a touch of indie to it. They are the kind of artists who make you realise why music even exists in the first place.
And as AJR said in Three-Thirty, “If Ed Sheeran writes my song, I’ll finally top the charts”.
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