‘Lowkey As Hell’ by Waterparks [Song Review]

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Waterparks are one of those bands that I ignored for the first little bit when they were starting to be better known, and somehow I’ve fallen into following all their social media and waiting for them to release new stuff, and I’m not sure when the shift happened. I know that their last album fandom is one of those albums that I’ve continued to come back to even though it’s been out for at least a year now. I didn’t think that I would when it first came out, and I listen to it, but there’s something about the combination of really pop-y vocals and more of a rock sound musically that gets stuck in my head continuously. Add to that they usually have an interesting lyrical play, and I always find that I’m picking out new elements as I listen to their music.

I’m not sure what to do with this song because I feel like, while it’s an interesting step as the band shifts away from FANDOM and what that era was, I don’t think I meant to take it super seriously. I understand that lyrically there’s some deep stuff, and Awsten Knight is always talking about very personal things about what is going on in his brain. And I also get that this is a crazy time for everyone, especially mental health-wise, but ultimately the song is meant to just be a fun time. I even find, even when Waterparks songs talk about more sensitive subjects, they’re still written in a way that they’re supposed to be fun and light sounding so that if you don’t think about the lyrics you can still listen to it and have a fun time.

Lyrics

Let’s dive into lyrics a little bit because I do think they’re some of the more elusive parts of a Waterparks song. I think what I said about this song feeling upbeat and fun, but they’re being darker undertones is kind of the point of the song. So if you who look into the lyrics, it’s almost as if Knight is talking about how he is going through a rough time, and his heart isn’t really in it, but his work, in this case music, is going to lift other people from feeling down. He even goes as far as to say that people like him better when he’s hurt inside–just as a side note, reminds me of a Fall Out Boy line about “my heart is like a stallion, they like it most when it’s broken.” He’s pointing out that people like it when he is expressing his hardships because expressing that stuff makes them feel better even if it’s not necessarily what makes him feel better.

Another thing that comes out a lot in the lyrics is Knight talking about how he feels like he can’t talk about his problems in the same way now because he’s had some success. The very first line talks about crying into a shirt you couldn’t afford last year. And then immediately counters that line as if it’s something to roll your eyes at. Because when someone says that they have issues like they’re sad or they have depression or they’re just having a bad day but they have a nicer house than you or nicer stuff than you or a better career than you and you kind of roll your eyes at them because you think it could be worse without considering that just because you have a successful career and a nice place to live doesn’t mean that you stop having depression or that you stop having bad days or that you stop being sad.

This is something that he talked about in the last album, he brings back the lyrics from ‘Watch What Happens Next,’ where he felt like he couldn’t say that he wanted success and that he had these big aspirations because people would think that that was very materialistic and that it should be art for art’s sake which isn’t how having a job works. I always find it interesting when people say that someone has sold out because they’re getting brand endorsements or they’re making it on the pop charts. I find it weird because they’re a band as a job and not as a passion project. I know that there’s passion involved in the project, but it is their job, and everyone wants to succeed and do big things in their job, but more importantly, you get a job to make money. That’s what your job is, and any other stuff that you do that doesn’t pay you as a hobby. So I don’t understand why people are so against musicians and bands doing their job and getting paid for it.

Instruments

I think the music is a good contrast to the lyrics where it’s talking about having those days where you feel sad or depressed, and you feel all this pressure about what your band sounds like and how much success you have because the music is very pop-y. A very shallow listen is that the song is upbeat and dance-y and it has a very catchy hook to it. It’s the kind of song that would make it on to pop charts and that people would have playing on a radio. It fits the music that one might classify as a band selling out because it has real playability, and it’s simple, and a hook that people can sing along to. However, Knight tends to say a little bit higher then I realized when I first was listening to their music so singing along might be a little challenging for some people.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I think this is an okay song but by no means my favourite from this band. Moreover, I don’t feel like there’s anything being said here that they haven’t talked about on pervious song. But it’s got a good beat and it’s fun to sing along too. Like I said at the beginning, I don’t take this song too seriously.

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