Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 - EP
Released in 2019, 6 tracks, 18 min
"Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 - EP"
Julia Michaels' lyrical prowess and delivery in ‘Inner Monologue Part 1’ is emotional and brilliant, but even more brilliant is her fantastic use of synths
When musicians go to bed in the night, they're often inspired to create new music themed around the topic of love. This is not because they're in love or in a good place at that time, neither is it because they don't think about other things but love, but because love is universal. It affects how we live, how we interact with others and how we do everything else. It affects everyone in different ways. It is the whole essence of life. That also explains why there are more songs themed around love than any other topic. American artist, Julia Michaels' sophomore album Inner Monologue Part 1 follows in that same direction though not directly. Her's is more like a narrative of her experiences with love and life; how they affect her, what she expects and doesn't expect. But it is more than just a collection of songs about love. It is a beautiful work of art that finds its way directly through a person's 'bone marrows' and into the sub conscious when listened to, and that is because of the brilliant work put into the composition, production, and delivery. Delivered in six tracks namely, "Anxiety", "Apple", "Deep", "Into You", "What a Life", and "Happy", this body of work can be considered her best work yet. It can be described as a combination of the best ideas to create a collection of songs that elicit emotions and feelings of empathy. It is both relatable and phenomenal.
A monologue of personal stories
I've always been a fan of well-arranged or well organized things. A lot of people are like that too. It makes the arranged stuff very attractive and appealing. When you arrange a work of art so well it becomes very attractive. Julia Michaels' ability to arrange her lyrics and delivery in the six songs that make up this body of work so well shows how organized she is. And that attraction and appeal is evident in the album. According to the Meriam Webster Dictionary, a monologue is a long speech given by a character in a story, movie or play, or by a performer such as a comedian. So an inner monologue which is the title of this album would be a long speech given by Julia Michaels of her personal experiences, and those experiences happen to be around love and life as expected. Her ability to narrate these stories so well that they create emotional pictures in your mind, pictures you could feel and relate to is just amazing. That organization is seen even in moments in her delivery when it is as if she would go off the line, and then like magic she bounces back on track, only then will you know that she planned her delivery in that moment to be exactly that way. This is seen in the song "Anxiety". With help from Selena Gomez, Julia pulled off one of the most interesting song deliveries I've seen in a long time. "My friends, they wanna take me to the movies, I tell 'em to fuck off I'm holding hands with my depression, and right when I think I've overcome it anxiety starts kicking in to teach that shit a lesson, Oh I try my best just to be social, I make all these plans with friends and hope they call and cancel, then I overthink about the things I'm missing, now I'm wishing I was with 'em", She begins what looks like a normal occurrence in everyone's life but with a flood of emotions. Once or twice we've all felt this way, so it is interesting to see how she narrates her side of this experience. "Feel like I'm always apologizing for feeling like I'm out of my mind when I'm doing just fine, And my exes will say that I'm hard to deal with and I admit it yeah", she continues in the pre chorus of the song. "Always wanted to be one of those people in the room that says something and everyone puts there hand up, like if you're sad put your hand up, if you hate someone put your hand up, if you're scared put your hand up", Selena Gomez continues in the second verse. They both share their experiences of things that make them feel anxious. Things that they both want but can't have, and how that makes them feel, giving the listener insight into that situation. She continues with that pattern in songs like "Into You" and "What a Time" each time creating mind pictures for her listeners and helping them see through her experiences. That is just brilliant.
Something more than just lyrics and delivery
While lyrics and delivery are important to the production of sweet melodious songs, elements used in the production are equally very important, sometimes even much more important. Consider an instance where a duly composed song with great lyrical arrangement is layered on a 'half baked' beat. You will find that even though the listeners appreciate the effort in composition, they won't really go as far as calling it their favorite. It may not even pass as a regular song to them because the production didn't do much to complement the great work put into composition and delivery. That would be an effort in futility. To avoid that, much work is required in the production of any song as much it is required in its composition and delivery. Probably the best songs of this album, "What a Time", "Deep", and "Into You" reflect this. They are patterned into Electropop which suggests the use of synths in their production, another important element that brought out the beauty of this body of work. There's a certain soothing feeling that sweeps through the entire album and it can be found right there in the production. It's arrangement and successive patterns add up to make it a piece worth listening to. That definitely makes it difficult for anyone to forget it in a hurry. It makes a good effort in retention and definitely sticks. The flow, the succession and the arrangement all come together to make this body of work a very interesting piece of art. Julia Michaels showed brilliance in her decision to have a six-track album and that helped her give special attention to each song. Inner Monologue Part 1 is a brilliant narration of her experiences with love and life, but also a fantastic use of synths in the production to crown the whole effort.
Inner Monologue, the more personal, the more universal
When you really want to succeed in the business of popular music, many artists over time try to be who they are not or enter a genre they do not belong to, either by cultural roots or even by social stratum. They believe they can write songs that reach the segment of the market to which they are oriented, either because of their style, or because some manager believed that it would fit well and they embark on the adventure of inventing unreal things, phrases and situations in all their lyrics, pretending that this will reach the heart of the audience that hears it. Pathetic. You get to hear unlikely stories because they are artificial and hollow. Seldom does something happen with those who think they are geniuses of deceit and if they have sporadic success, it does not last long. That is what we call "formulas", a kind of cooking recipes applied to art and never, never will be something good what comes out of there. Regardless of the musical genre, when the artist composes from its heart and based on its own experiences, the first aspect that the public can perceive in its songs will be honesty and that is a triumph. If the lyrics connect with the audience and the melodies are smart enough to follow easily, the song will soon become a hit and the artist will become one of their favorites. Also, if the song has that magic of reflecting something that has happened to many beyond the borders of their country, it will become universal. The universality of art transcends borders because it speaks directly to an audience that lives and experiences the same as the author at certain moments of his life and is reflected in anguish, sadness, happiness, love, social aspiration or any other situation of life that has been touched by the composer and that touches the fibers of the soul of the listener. There is a very common case that exemplifies what it is to be universal and what it is to be very local: comedy, a non-musical example; for cultural and language reasons, there are few comedians in the world who have come to conquer the hearts of the public everywhere and in many countries totally different from the ones they belong to. This is because there are many things that on one side are hilarious and on others simply do not make sense. Throughout my life, I've heard that Mexican comedy is the best in the world, who says it? the Mexicans. Actually, the common comedy of Mexicans only makes sense to Mexicans, if you tell a Mexican joke in another part of the world, people will be left with a: what? because they do not make sense the greater amount of things that for Mexicans are funny. And vice versa. I have heard many Mexicans say that Americans' sense of humor is not good, why? simple: because they do not understand it, it is very difficult if you do not live in that culture to understand what is funny and what is not. So only a few like Charles Chaplin or Mr. Bean have been able to cross borders with their comedy because they have been geniuses who have been able to take their art to the field of universality, where everyone understands, everyone laughs with very common situations for all and all they're happy. Well, that's the case of Inner Monologue, Pt. 1, by Julia Michaels. A collection of honest and universal songs.
With the anxiety of listening more
The internal monologue of Julia Michaels immediately becomes a universal dialogue with people her age around the world. I do not think there is a single girl in the world that does not identify with what the singer has written for this EP. It is refreshing the way in which Julia Michaels addresses the issues that many girls are going through in their lives at the moment, confronts them in an intelligent way, always trying to get out of problems, as less hurt as possible. Trying almost at all times to draw strength in all situations without losing the subtle sweetness and innocence that characterizes those of her age. Speaking of Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 as a whole, I think a great success is that they did not fall into the temptation to create many songs and they stayed with those that were necessary. Only what makes sense to create the work of an artist is what should stay and not to sin of ambition, filling the records with worthless things that eventually end up bored. Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 keeps you attentive all the time and you are satisfied to listen to songs full of honesty and feeling. It is an album that helps you understand many of the issues that are lodged in the mind of a girl and that are sometimes incomprehensible.
As deep as you want to get
It is very difficult to choose a song by Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 as the favorite over all others, however, if they forced me to do it, it would be "Deep.” I identify a lot with the musical style, the arrangements, the instrumentation and the interpretation of Julia Michaels. But, to be honest, I loved all the songs. The collaborations of Selena Gómez and Niall Horan are the most appropriate means to decorate this collection of six themes and they provoke greater brilliance of Julia Michaels. At no time do the arrangements fall short or the interpretation is improvised, I believe that all the details were taken care of and the spirit with which the songs were written was preserved. Best of all, it is the fact that the songs were created by the inner voice of the artist that goes through specific moments in her personal and professional life and, for that same reason, the songs became a direct dialogue with many girls in the world that share life and experience with its author. In short, they were universalized for being honest. In the end, that must be the lesson for all composers: do not resort to recipes and speak honestly to your audience.
Official Music Videos
"Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 - EP"
"Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 - EP"