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The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

Connor’s Coffee Shop: Will Wood Music Review

Welcome, welcome faithful readers to my humble music review. This is the last review I will be doing this school year, that being 2023. This column will be back up in September. So don’t worry, your favorite music reviewer will still be writing away.

Speaking of the end of the year, I would like to give a little congrats to all of the Seniors who are graduating this year! If you are a Senior reading this, give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.

And for those of you non-seniors, myself included, have fun at finals. We all know that everyone loves finals!

Today, to end off this school year nicely, we will be taking a look at one of my favorite albums from one of my favorite artists. That album would be:

“In case I make it,” – Will Wood

“In case I make it,”

Will Wood is a very unique individual. He has taken on many different identities and characters over the years, in a very Bowie-esque sense, so looking him up will lead you to some very different results. He has released 4 (6 if you count a live album and a soundtrack to a podcast) albums, and each album he has taken on a different public persona. For example, when he was doing interviews for the release of “The Normal Album”, he was very egocentric and rude to his interviewers. He would ramble on constantly about nothing, put his feet on the table, and splash water at the interviewers. Of course, all of this was a character and Wood is not actually like this.

With the release of In Case I Make It {ICIMI}, he sort of dropped his character and showed his true self:

“The public persona created by the artist and audience interaction is always going to be different from the artist’s real-world self, of course. But I’ve tried closing that gap a little over the past year or so, and while the gap feels tiny when I’m face-to-face with my audience, I’ll never really have control over the story that people hear.”

The only “character” I would say Will takes over on this album is a sort of play on the main character of the horror movie Willard, whose only friends are his pet rats.

ICIMI, lyrically, is incredibly complex. The album’s overall theme is the fear of death, and being scared of not living a fulfilling life. The original name of this album was supposed to be In Case I Die. This was because Wood began having premonitions of his death and began to write this album as his “Musical Suicide Note”. As the album finished, Wood’s mental health began to get better and he stopped having premonitions, so he renamed it to “In case I make it,”. But despite the name of the album being positive, the theme of the album still stands, and he doesn’t want people to see it as his “I’m good now!” album. He then went on tour and recorded his songs live and released it as “In Case I Die”. He named his live album this because it is his last album before he went on an indefinite hiatus. (Quick note, and this is just my opinion from experience, but “indefinite hiatus” is musical terminology for “I’m not coming back.”).

ICIMI, musically, is also complex. However, this album is significantly more tame than most of his other albums. Will Wood is notorious for his musical style. I cannot quite put a pin on exactly what his style is, but a lot of people have dubbed his genre as “Evil Jazz”. It almost sounds like Disney villain theme songs (if that makes any sense). ICIMI, is more acoustic than most of his other music. It isn’t as complex as some of his other work, as his previous work had a “Wall Of Sound”, as I like to call it. So many instruments play different things that all somehow work together. That being said, this album is not bare with its instruments. Many of the instruments on his previous albums, such as the saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, and especially the baritone ukulele which makes numerous appearances on this album, along with being the backbone of most of the songs.

A lot of the songs on this album are significantly sadder than some of his old music. A lot of his old music is very upbeat and catchy, however this album focuses a lot more on more solemn sounds. Along with that, the lyrics are quite sad on this album as well. Wood’s lyrics normally talk about his experiences with addiction and love through references to history, science, and medical terminology. ICIMI has some of those still there, but less. Nonetheless, each song has an incredibly unique sound and meaning to them. For instance, Tomcat Disposables tells the story of how Wood had to kill a mouse in his kitchen with a mouse trap, but from the point of view of said mouse. Another example is Euthanasia, which plays out like a final goodbye to his pet rats as he has to put them down, with lyrics such as:

“And I know, I know it’s not trueThere’s just no more youBut as long as there’s no proofThen I choose, I choose to believeThat we’ll meet in sweet dreamsAfter you’re put to sleep

I’m not crying, you are.

Ratings

Vocals: 10/10

Will Wood’s vocals are incredible. He is definitely one of the best singers I have heard in a while.

Guitar: 9/10

There are some great guitar tracks on this album. They can be scarce at times, but that is made up by the abundance of baritone ukulele.

Bass: 7/10

The bass on this album is simple, but not too simple that it’s unnoticeable.

Drums: 8/10

I think that I’d count all the percussion on this album as drums. And I’d say they did a pretty damn good job with the percussion.

Other: 10/10

Flutes! Saxophones! Trumpets! Choir! Violins! You think it, it’s probable on this album. The song Willard! probably shows off the complexity of all the instruments the best.

I’d also like to take a moment to recognize how INCREDIBLE Will Wood is at the piano. Please, please, look up a video of him playing the piano. It’s like his hands are a separate being from him. This could be said about all of his music, the piano is definitely the drawing factor for his music. Wow.

Lyrics: 10/10

I never thought a man who draws eyeballs on his face and kicks his keyboard during live shows would ever make me cry like ICIMI did. This man is truly an incredible lyricist and I am seriously envious that he came up with these and not me (joking, of course).

Uniqueness: 10/10

Every single song sounds different than the last on this album. Seriously, try putting it on shuffle. You could be sobbing into your sleeve and then suddenly The Main Character will start playing and suddenly you are dancing.

Overall Score: 10/10

There we have it everyone! The first 10/10 in Connor’s Coffee Shop history! What a way to end the year. It really has been great to write all of these articles for you, and more importantly it’s been great to be a part of The Rostrum. I really do recommend you listen to any song off of this album, because they are all incredible.

By the way, you can request albums for me to review. If you have an album for me to review, just leave the name of it in the comments and I will write a review.

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