AJR shakes it up with “Neotheater”


AJE released their new album “Neotheater” on April 26, 2019.

Eva Bard, Guest Writer

AJR’s new album, “Neotheater,” steps further away from pop and into uncharted territory. The three Jewish brothers focused this album on the journey of growing up, which makes it relatable,  powerful and unlike anything anyone has ever heard before. The sounds of their previous album, “The Click,” do not quite match what AJR has put together.


The album begins with a song titled “Next Up Forever” which expresses their desire to remain naive kids without problems. From there, the album explores the journey from being “one minute old” into adulthood, and after 40 minutes, the song “Finale (can’t wait to see what you do next)” ends the album with wishes for a future child, bringing the album in a full circle.


The lyrics are laugh-out-loud funny and allow the listener to feel as if they are having a conversation with the members of AJR. In their song “Karma,” they even framed it as if AJR is talking to a therapist. The lyrics share the same depth and complexity as lyrics from a Billie Eilish song.  


AJR escaped the overdone themes and lyrics about relationship problems or praises exhibited throughout the albums of groups like Maroon 5 and the Jonas Brothers. “Neotheater” includes songs about topics that prompt listeners to think, like wanting to forever be “second in line” and getting lost in your own thoughts.   


In addition to the lyrics, all the harmonies, tempos and beat drops are quirky and fun. In each song, AJR experiments with a different variety of instruments, artificial noises and layered voices which makes each song to be uniquely different.


As a traditional pop music listener who only occasionally strays to alternative, this album took some getting used to. While the album is refreshingly different, it is also simply weird. AJR did not shy away from any of their ideas or lyrics, no matter how untraditional or unheard of they are. So if you are looking for the new greatest hit, you won’t find it in this album.


However, no matter your taste in music, this album will inevitably give you a laugh, a mood booster, a head bop or a feeling of comfort in that others are going through the same obstacles as you. Even if the songs don’t make a spot on your playlist, this album will give you an experience that no other album has ever offered.