AJR reminds us that being yourself is OK


Music impacts all of us in a certain way. No two “impacts” on us personally or as a society are the same. 

We can be energized by some songs. We can be hit right in the heart by others. 

Overall, music lifts spirits. It reminds us of our flaws. 

In the case of indie-group AJR’s newest single titled “The Dumb Song,” you could say it’s right in the middle. 

AJR has a reputation of making “energizing” sounds with each of their songs while also conveying strong messages in the lyrics. 

It’s a double-edged sword, for sure. 

AJR also has a history of making their songs really crazy beat-wise.

However, with “The Dumb Song”, AJR has explored a realm of music they haven’t touched: 

Making a song sound just like the message in the song. 

What do I mean by this? 

“The Dumb Song” is not like AJR’s songs in the past. There isn’t this BIG beat drop before each chorus melody. There isn’t this head-spinning curveball of words or sounds at the end. 

Take one listen to AJR’s newest single (that certainly isn’t dumb), and you could say it presents a “zen” feel. 

Today’s society doesn’t take the time to sit back and relax. We are always stressed out about something in our lives. 

We don’t take a moment to just take a deep breath and chill out. 

Sometimes, it gets to this point: 

“You’ve mentioned Adderall/ slip this guy a sedative, he’s bouncin’ off the wall” 

We also struggle with self-doubt, whether it’s where we want to go with our lives or what career we should pursue: 

“We’ll get you back to college, you could study somethin’ real” 

The news certainly doesn’t help. We watch as a reporter covers a story about death, drugs, or other negative things. We do this every night. 

“Your world is endin’ soon/ mine’s a little better ‘cause I never watch the news”

There are definitely other impactful lyrics within “The Dumb Song”, especially these few: 

“Too dumb for breaking up/ I’d do it in person, but I’d probably mess it up/ I’ll text you, that’s enough, that’s how empty-headed people get through s****y stuff” 

I can probably guess you are reading this article on your phone right now. 

I get it. It’s so tough to not look at our iPhone or Android for at least a couple of seconds, because we as a society have *severe* F.O.M.O. 

Tech and social media companies strive to make us look at our phones. They add in little things to make it more addicting. 

I’m guilty as charged. I spend more than an hour on Twitter daily. 

All of this “tech-dependent” living has taken away the skills our world used to have, in terms of talking to people in-person and not through the tap of a few buttons. 

I know I’m not a “social butterfly”. I do aim, however, to have some sort of social interaction with others, whether it’s through public-address announcing, simply walking up to people and saying “hello,” or taking part in academic endeavors. 

When we talk to and interact with people (REAL people), in actual situations, we sometimes embarrass ourselves. 

That’s alright! When we embarrass ourselves, we show we aren’t perfect. No one is perfect. That reminder isn’t plastered on walls enough today. 

This reminder is also woven throughout “The Dumb Song,” and although lead singer Jack Met is talking about how he has tendencies of being dumb, there are subtle hints of not being afraid to be ourselves. 

If we look silly or dumb doing something, that’s OK! 

All in all, life won’t move any slower. It’s what speed you tap on the treadmill that counts.