A great day for insufferable people (me)

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Lizzy McAlpine's album "Older" features 14 new songs. Photo from @lizzymcalpine on Instagram.

On Friday, Apr. 5, an amazing piece of music was dropped, and no, I’m not talking about Jojo Siwa’s “Karma” music video. No, this is actually good. Annoying people all across the world are cheering and jumping for joy, and you should too, for the new album out by Lizzy McAlpine titled “Older.” A mature and beautiful work of art, “Older” takes the listeners through the breakdown of a relationship of McAlpine’s, slipping away from the experimental aspect of her previous album, “Five Seconds Flat.” So of course, here’s my breakdown of the album, and why you need to listen to it. Immediately. 

We start off with the song “Elevator,” a short and slow opening to the album. “Can we stay like this forever?” McAlpine asks, hoping that this new beginning will stay perfect no matter what. “Come Down Soon” follows next, where we listen to McAlpine talking to this new, exciting person, yet trying to remind herself that this elated feeling she has will not last forever. “Nothing this good ever lasts this long for me,” she says as the chorus begins, and continues with, “Nothing this good’s ever really good for me.” Okay, ouch? This is a song all overthinkers can relate to, self-sabotaging anything good they have.

Moving on, we have “Like It Tends To Do.” An intimate song to the listener with McAlpine’s voice shining through light guitar, we are taken through the moments when you meet the person you’ve broken up with and now don’t know how to act around them. Are you friends? Acquaintances? Nothing at all? Everything feels awkward despite the fact that you know everything about this person. McAlpine writes, “Would everything have changed/Like it tends to do?” I did not need to hear such a real lyric, thanks, queen! After this, we get “Movie Star,” which depicts McAlpine loving the feeling of being wanted, even by someone who constantly tears her down and hurts her. “I feel like a movie star, but it’s getting old/Being famous for someone,” she sings. 

Now we reach a personal favorite of the album titled “All Falls Down.”As soon as the song begins, you get an amazing blend of what appears to be flute, clarinet, saxophone and perhaps more. As a flute player myself, hearing instruments that I play in a way you normally would not find them is so amazing, and McAlpine perfectly executes this addition of instruments. If you like “Sling,” from Clairo, you will adore this song. I shouldn’t want to dance to the sad lyrics, but the instruments make it feel so warm and inviting, perhaps done on purpose to represent the relationship. The lyrics express anxiety and distrust as McAlpine sings, “Am I that good of a liar/That I believe myself again?” Excuse me? Way too real Lizzy, way too real. I will be ignoring the lyrics and dancing on, so sorry. 

We progress to “Staying,” which is simply heartbreaking and bare as McAlpine describes the feeling of struggling to leave her toxic relationship despite knowing she has to. “Maybe I will someday/Let this go forever.” We now hit the middle point of the album with a previously released song called “I Guess.” Taking someone home for the night in an attempt to get over someone else, McAlpine writes lyrics like, “I guess it’s all about trying/To love someone you’ve never met,” which leaves the listener heartbroken. 

“Drunk, Running” comes next, and this one is another favorite of mine. We start off with McAlpine describing telling the person in the relationship to stay sober like they said they would. Just when you think that is completely gut-wrenching on its own, the second verse copies a similar lyrical structure, except McAlpine writes, “No one stops me/Nobody takes you from my hand,” meaning no one helps keep her sober from this person. Hello? Literally devastating. My jaw dropped when I first heard this. 

As the album and story move forward, we reach “Broken Glass,” where McAlpine depicts hurting someone emotionally as if it were physical harm. There is definitely a mood change in the album, where we see anger and darkness come from McAlpine not only through lyrics, but instrumentals as well. “It might seem like I love you/But I just don’t want to be alone” she sings at the climax of the bridge.“You Forced Me To” takes on a similar mood of eeriness, as McAlpine sings, “I have changed/Because you forced me to.” 

The title track“Older” follows up, as McAlpine sings a song true to all of my nostalgia lovers who just cannot bear the fact that they are growing older and leaving their childhood behind, all while feeling not ready enough for adulthood. “Mom’s getting older/I’m wanting it back.” This lyric speaks for itself, and hurts way too much. “Better Than This,” the third to last song, reaches a point where McAlpine reflects and notes her fear of not being the person she thinks she’s perceived as, and realizes she must leave her relationship for the better. 

“March” takes on a bit of a different storyline, where she pays tributes to her father, who died in March 2020. “So far away and then it hits you/Like it was yesterday,” she describes the grief of her losing her dad, a feeling that anyone who has lost someone can easily relate to and understand. We reach the end of the album with the song “Vortex,” which feels like the perfect goodbye to the album and the relationship. Two lines really stuck out to me, those being, “And it never lasts long/Cause I always come back when I need a new song” and “Someday you’ll come back and I’ll say no.” Ouch? Devious lines, absolutely devious Lizzy. 

If all of this hasn’t convinced you to go listen to Lizzy McAlpine’s new album, I’m truly disappointed. A wonderful representation of the emotions you’d never want to express out loud, McAlpine beautifully constructs a bare and honest piece of work that almost every person can relate to in some regard. So go listen…or else.

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Emily Nally ‘27 is an English and creative writing major with a minor in English literature. She is an assistant editor for the Campus Voices section and is so excited to be a part of such an immersive organization on campus. Outside of the Weekly, you can find Emily rereading "Little Women," binge watching "Gilmore Girls," or being really cool practicing her flute and guitar.

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