Almost exactly two years ago to the date,
With American Candy and Lovely Little Lonely, it became apparent that
Unlike Lovely Little Lonely, You Are OK does not have transitional songs that easily whisk you from one track to another. I really loved that about their last album because it was unique and worked with the summer vibe it gave off. However, You Are OK is so good to the point where I think obvious transitions would have cheapened the album. Like I mentioned before, the track listing is so well done that each song goes right into the next without a “What just happened?” moment. To me, this is most obvious when the album goes from “My Best Habit” to “Numb Without You.” Although these were both singles released before the entire album, to hear them come one right after another is almost equivalent to mistaking them for the same song. They definitely are NOT the same, but my point is that the track placements just make sense.
If you’ve been a fan of
“Slip the Noose” starts off the album and I swear to the emo gods
“Numb Without You” was the first single released off this album, and it’s been a favorite of mine since. The violin along with the lyrics make this song for me. It’s upbeat and fast-paced: two of my favorite things.
“Heaven We’re Already Here” reminds me of the summer going into my freshman year of college.
“Forevermore” threw me off at first because it’s literally an acoustic song smack in the middle of this album. However, after looking at the album as a whole, it doesn’t fit anywhere else but here. It’s like a much-needed break from all the
“One Sunset” makes me cry every time I listen to it. Ok, not literally (maybe), but it’s pretty adorable. This song is all about waiting for time to pass in order to be reunited with a loved one. More specifically, John sings, “One sunset left in England so go on then, trouble. One sunset ’til I see her in her red sundress.” Oh, you’re crying now too? I thought so. Again, this song feels like it was made for a movie and I can’t wait to hear it performed live so I can bawl my eyes out as
“Broken Parts” was the final single released, and at first, it wasn’t my favorite. I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and the heavy use of violin, but this is definitely a whole different sound for the band. However, now that the entire record is out, I feel like this song has a permanent home right before the final track. It has definitely grown on me since then. Of course, the message behind it is a good one as well.
The Maine really saved the best for last. “Flowers on the Grave” might just be one of my all time favorite songs The Maine have ever written. It’s beautifully complex and reminds me of “Waiting for My Sun to Shine” with the heavy guitar and swift change of tempo. However, if you aim to compare the two, you can see just how far The Maine have come musically and lyrically from Pioneer. It’s pretty amazing actually.
“Flowers on the Grave” is a whole ANTHEM. I do not say that lightly. There are so many elements that make this final track a masterpiece. First, the prevalence of the violin is heavy, ending the album the same way it started. The combination of electric and acoustic guitar is also well balanced. There are also a few sections of the song which are purely instrumental. As a person who thinks instrumental music can be extremely powerful, I’m so glad The Maine decided this would be fitting. If it’s done right, the instruments can make a person feel certain emotions, and that’s exactly what it accomplished here.
Lyrically this song is just as phenomenal. “’Cause you don’t plan life, you live it. You don’t take love, you give it. You can’t change what is written. So when fate cries, you listen. And flowers on the grave of the child that I used to be.” The Maine really did THAT. What an emotionally yet complex image of growing up. I cannot get enough of it. Of course, the album’s title also hails from the first verse. “Everything is temporary, even the sorrow that you carry. So tell me are you okay? You say you are okay. I’m okay now I’m with you.” I’m not even going to pretend to apologize for quoting so much because these are some of the best lyrics The Maine have written.
There are so many ups and downs throughout the entire song. Yes, it’s nine minutes long, but not a single second is wasted. From slow to fast to slower than the beginning, the tempo changes with your emotions. At points, it sounds like there is a full blown orchestra narrating the story of this song. John repeating, “Everything is temporary” then “Flowers on the grave of the child that I used to be,” and finally, “I was on the verge of breaking down, then you came around,” is just heart-wrenching in a good way. If there is only one track you listen to