melanie martinez - k-12 (album review).
following her 2015 debut, k-12 is melanie's first album in 4 long years, which have all been spent on this project. the album is 13 tracks long, representing kindergarten through 12th grade. i'll be reviwing this album track by track, and i hope you enjoy and please request albums you'd like for me to review!
track I: wheels on the bus.
this album begins with this happy, groovy tune, very reminiscent of the cry baby era, narrating melanie's bus ride to school. the highlight of this track, for me, is the second verse where melanie sings about passing around a blunt as the fellow kids on the bus go crazy around her. overall this is a very nice opener, setting a happy, campy beginning to the album, with a dreamy underrtone.
track II: class fight.
this track is darker than the previous one, describing a physical altercation between cry baby and a classmate. the production is very airy and child-ish until the chorus, bringing out a dark, downtempo narration of a fight with a class mare the repetition of the chorus is too much, but i do enjoy the verses a lot.
track III: the principal.
the listener's attention is immediately grabbed with the ringing of a phone, proceeding melanie singing about her principal over a very dramatic beat, changing at the chorus into an airy catchy, chorus, shaming the principal for every bad thing melanie write him to do. this one has grown on me a lot.
track IV: show & tell.
this track is eerie, dark perfection. melanie's voices glides across an instrumental i'd describe as a down-tempo carousel, singing about being used for another's self-gain and the down sides of fame. "show and tell. i'm on display for all you fuckers to see," melanie sings angrily. this is one of my favorites on the album.
track V: nurse's office.
my anticipation for this track, which was one of the first snippets released, was through the roof, and it didn't disappoint. if i had to choose any 'lead single', this would be it. this track is an instant classic, fitting in perfectly with melanie's music catalog.
track VI: drama club.
if i had to choose a least favorite track, this would be one of them. it feels like she just searched up 'melanie martinez type beat' on youtube and just sang over it. i think the lyrics are good, but them neither the production were strong enough to elevate this song to the same level of the others.
track VII: strawberry shortcake:
this pop banger is definitely an album standout. it's strong message and catchy synth-pop chorus make strawberry shortcake an essential listen for everyone, not just melanie lovers.
track VIII: lunchbox friends.
if you liked soap, off cry baby, you'll love this... but more. melanie sadly sings over a dark trap beat about fake friends, with a voice-deepener effect on the chorus, bringing together one of my favorite tracks on the record.
track IX: orange juice.
i have the same problem with this as i have with drama club, but this track is better. melanie sings about the topic bulimia and compares it to oranges being juiced. the house-ish piano production is an interesting touch. i don't have a huge problem with this track, but it's nothing special.
track X: detention.
i would describe this track is a spooky shape of you, but really good. this xylophone-like synth-led song is one of my favorites for so many reasons. one being, the creepy beats perfect, smooth transition into the sexy, slow chorus.
track XI: teacher's pet:
out of all tracks, this became my overall favorite. melanie usual. creepy alternative sound is met with a dark rock-ish bass, paired with lyrics describing melanie's friend's relationship with a teacher. i would describe this as a slower mad hatter or cake. the production on this one, as on all the tracks is amazing.
track XII: high school sweethearts.
this track starts with a slow, synth-accompanied intro, leading into a upbeat pop song, about a significant other during high school. melanie sings about what is required in a relationship with her and what she wants.
track XIII: recess:
recess is a weak closer for me because although it feels like the perfect closer, it's a bit enjoyable to me because of how child-ish and forcibly over-peppy it is. it pairs a happy instrumental with lyrics about not-letting bad things get to you.
favorites: show & tell, lunchbox friends, detention, & teachers pet.
least favorites: drama club & recess.
.-12 is an enjoyable alternative pop album. it has a strong story and sense of cohesion but gets lost sometimes in it's cohesiveness, which starts to become just similarity. i'm talking about how similar the instrumentals sound in some tracks. despite this, i find myself enjoying the album a lot and excited for cry baby's next endeavor.