Following the click

Sara Berge, Staff

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Ed Sheeran. Bruno Mars. Harry Styles. Katy Perry. Taylor Swift. Since I am constantly listening to the radio and watching the charts, I hear their names and songs everywhere, but a band that needed much more credit than received in 2017 is AJR.
AJR is an indie pop band created by three brothers, Adam, Jack and Ryan Met. They are most known for with their 2013 single “I’m Ready.” Their third and newest album was released June 9, 2017. “The Click” opened my eyes (and ears) to how beautiful, magnificent, and real music can be if produced by artists that bleed passion.
The album contains 13 songs and all have an honest take on different subjects. The album begins with “Overture,” which begins with a single beat and then different elements from every song build up on top of it.
AJR creates a preview of the album as well as insight to the theme of the album, which is following the “click” in your heart.
There are three singles on AJR’s newest album. “Weak” is about letting go of worrying and making memories. This was the first song I heard by them, and the message stood out. I worry a lot, and focus on the future instead of the now. The most repeated line in the song is “I’m weak!/and what’s wrong with that?” shows that sometimes listening to that voice in your head is a good idea. Instead of using electronic instruments to make beat like typical pop songs, they actually recorded a horn and edited the audio. AJR actively attempts to do the opposite of what major artists are currently doing which is perfect for anyone who is getting slowly tired of the status quo.
“Sober Up” is the exact opposite of “Weak,” where the singer is sending a message to an old friend telling them that he has spent too much time partying and hanging out with the wrong crowd, and now the singer wants to remove themselves from the situation. The tone in the Jack’s voice can give the listener chills when he tells the listener that he wants “to feel something again.” This song also uses traditional instruments. AJR includes string instruments in “Sober Up” that helps add to its sad and nostalgic tone.
Continuing with a critique of their current social circle, “Drama” gives a blatantly honest look about the obsession with rumors and gossip. This song needs to be the anthem of every high school. The music feels like the listener is on a roller coaster, with the instrumentals rising and falling. “Drama” uses a technique that AJR describes as “Spokestep” which is after they record their vocals, they record random sounds in the microphone and then edit it to create a brand new beat.
“The Click” is an amazing album, with every song being a hit. The major critique I have seen is that the album is considered by some to be “generic”. That is entirely not the case. 2017 was no stranger to generic pop music that was blared through radios for several weeks (I’m looking at you “Despacito”) but AJR’s attempts at changing the game at every song can be heard, from discussing their troubles as relatively small artists in “Three-Thirty” and “Come Hang Out” to talking about how they could care less about fame in “I’m Not Famous” or to trying to push their creative limits in “Call My Dad”. As long as AJR keeps up with their passion for creating music, their small mark on the music industry will last forever.

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