Melancholy and Wistful, Gracie Abrams’ Debut Album “Good Riddance” Reflects on Past Sorrows

Melancholy and Wistful, Gracie Abrams’ Debut Album “Good Riddance” Reflects on Past Sorrows

Amelia Tabit, PaperClip Staff/Writer

With a perfect mix of melancholy and regretfulness, Gracie Abrams’ debut album, “Good Riddance”, offers listeners a unique storytelling experience.  

Abrams starts the album with “Best.”  Although this may not be the obvious choice for an album opener, it sets the tone for the rest of the album.  “Best” reflects on Abrams’ own acknowledgment that she is the problem in her relationships, and though it’s something she works on, she has regrets and wishes things could have been different. 

“Best” offers an effortless start to an emotional rollercoaster of an album with a more toned-down sound.  It is also the only time a song says the phrase “Good Riddance,” referencing the album’s title,

“Best” immediately leads to the second track, “I know it won’t work”.  This song presents a similar theme but has a more upbeat sound.  Gracie Abrams is truly a master of lyrics and this song holds some of my favorites.  In particular the lyrics, “And down the road, you will love me until you resent me” summarizes what it’s like to love someone for a long period of time knowing it won’t get better.  “I know it won’t work” also had a music video release the day after the album.

The third track is called “Full machine”, and is a beautiful song but falls lower on my list of favorites.  It starts out slow-paced before building to a more aggressive refrain.  I think the metaphors in this song are stunning but it’s a bit boring compared to others on the album.

 Following “Full machine” with ‘“Where do we go now?” is almost a crime because, for me, this song blows the previous out of the park. With its cheery sound and deep lyrics, this song makes you want to dance and cry at the same time. ‘“Where do we go now?” was the second single released and has an accompanying music video.  

Abrams’ has a pattern of having songs that include very simple choruses, and having those choruses lead to a hard-hitting refrain or bridge.  The chorus of this song is just “where do we go now?” but brings the song to an overflow with the bridge.

The next two songs, “I should hate you” and “will you cry?” are both incredible.  “I should hate you” follows a similar pattern to “Where do we go now?” and “Best,” building up to a strong bridge.  ‘“Will you cry” is a bit of an outlier, offering a different sound to the album.

“Amelie” was the third single released off of “Good Riddance”.  This song is easily one of my top songs from the album.  It has a message that is much sweeter than what the previous songs offer as lines blur between dreams and reality.  Abrams sings of longing for Amelie, someone who changed her life but might not exist anymore.  Her chorus “Where did you go Amelie?” solidifies this desire she has for Amelie.  I love the softness of this song and the pure love that Abrams’ seems to have for whoever she is singing about.  My favorite example of this is the first line, “I met a girl once, she sort of ripped me open.”

After “Amelie” we get the first single off of the album, “Difficult”.  I loved “Difficult” as it brought back the more upbeat vibe of earlier songs while still including so much emotion.  

“This is what the drugs are for” is a lyrically interesting song.  It’s another track that falls a bit lower on my ranking but I do really enjoy it. 

I thought “Fault line” was very melodic and gentle.  I tend to like sadder songs so this one stuck out to me as really beautiful.  The lyrics and the imagery paint such an incredible picture of the pain Abrams is experiencing. 

Next is “The blue” which offers such a different message compared to the rest of the album, but the production allows it to keep the same soft feel. “The blue” is the only true love song on the album and lacks the self-hatred that we see in the other tracks.  I thought this song was so sweet and a nice break from the sadder theme. 

“Good Riddance” closes with “Right now”, and is my favorite song off of the album. It’s so quiet and really carries a pensive feeling. Abrams is able to communicate how sad and homesick she is and yet she feels the most like herself in the sadness. It’s just so heartbreaking and I really love it. 

Gracie Abrams released a strong debut album, taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster. If you enjoy softer music that often makes you want to curl up and cry, I would definitely recommend listening to “Good Riddance”