Melanie Martinez Makes a Return


Cover of Melanie’s K-12 Album

   K-12 is an album and movie by Melanie Martinez who hasn’t released an album since Crybaby, which was insanely enough released more than four years ago. Martinez made an anticipated comeback into the mainstream world with the music video, it’s pretty impressive and weird at the same time. While it might appear out of the norm, it relies heavily on conceptual ideas in attempt to explore deeper issues in our society while basing the wordplay of each song with grade-school terms. 


Wheels On The Bus

   Right off the bat, following a storyline, you can tell that “Crybaby” is older and has seen some bad stuff during its long run. Melanie Martinez is on theme, as always, and it’s hard not to notice and appreciate how the song begins with the sound of the bus starting up. She’s starting off the album with her climbing onto the bus and going to school, driving us into this journey that we are about to embark on through her storytelling. Lyrics wise, it is quite bland, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. There weren’t any deeper meanings or anything that needed to be analyzed. Martinez simply was setting the scene, describing things around here and making her feelings about her classmates and school very clear. Melodically, it is a song that can get stuck in your head. 


Class Fight

   Interesting song. The chorus was very likable, but having that much repetition should be illegal. Speaking of illegal, the song is about her beating up a girl for a boy? She has had similar themes in her previous album such as in Pacify Her, she sang about being in love with a boy who was already in a relationship, and taking drastic measures to get her out of the picture. Again, lyrically, she focuses more on details and storytelling rather than having symbolism. This song sounds like a filler song which doesn’t make it partially amazing, but does have a nice flow to it.


The Principal

   This is the song everyone needed and waited for from Melanie. Her deep and dark, unfiltered situations that she speaks of. She has mentoned people peeking and doing nothing for three songs in a row, just something that can be taken note of. The vocals sound very nice in this song, yet again, the chorus is heavily reliant on repetition. The abrupt ending adds an unpredictable end to the song. Probably the best song on the album so far. 


Show & Tell

   This sounds like something straight off of Crybaby and the song has one of the most unique vibes so far. It is very clear that this song is stepping out of the storyline just a bit and isn’t coming from Crybaby, but could. This is Melanie, who has quite a bad reputation for being “rude” with fans for them taking pictures of her without her permission. The meaning was very direct and had a clear message. The vocals sound beautiful, Martinez is such a talented singer and always has been, but many people don’t think of her vocal abilities and focus more on her Crybaby persona. The sound effects really add to every song and bring them to life. 


Nurse’s Office

   Martinez really said she faked a seizure. Anyways, the beat…. The darkness of it, the words, the sound of her voice… stunning. However, that one little section of her crying and an evil laugh for like forty seconds, kind of uncomfortable. The song could’ve would’ve been fine without that, it was very unnecessary and ruined the song just a bit. Other than that, the overall sound is a favorite. The lyrics are very specific too, it’s obvious there is a double meaning for this song. 


Drama Club

   The repetition in this song could kill. However, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the lyrics. They are stunning and it’s very creative how she worded things and played on the words. The beat drop… moment of silence. Something to always love about Martinez’s songs is that they’re always easy to sing along to. They never have insanely difficult vocals or words or anything of that sort. There was one part of the song that is dislikable, the blend of the second verse into the chorus. It ruined the chorus a tad and flowed a little TOO nicely. 


Strawberry Shortcake

   This song is EXTREMELY relevant. Martinez often speaks on body imagine, especially in Crybaby during the song “Mrs. Potato Head.” She spoke of how the schools and society in general try to regulate her body and pressure into beauty standards such as a small waist or shaving her legs. This song is very catchy and probably going to be stuck in plenty of heads. It’s eye widening how she talked about it as if it was all her fault and then during the bridge she goes on to point out how this is wrong and that it’s the way boys are raised, which is the problem. It’s something every girl is all too familiar with, the way that they can’t wear what they want, or do as they please without criticism. Beautifully put.   


Lunchbox Friends

   There is something not very enjoyable about the effects made on her voice during the chorus, yet not completely hated. It fits nicely. It’s a nice little break. The first verse is amazing, the way it is much more fast-paced than her previous songs. The second verse is a bit messy. Lyrically, it seems it didn’t follow the storyline of the album at all. It seems as if this song belonged in Drama Club.


Orange Juice

   Some of the lyrics really just weren’t hitting the mark they could’ve hit. Eating disorders are something to speak of with care, which she did, but something wasn’t enjoyable about this song and the listening process. The sound is beautiful, yet not the best on the album. The lyrics are once again about self-care and self-image with is important to bring up when you have an influence in the media. It was a good song just not one that would be replayed before it even ended. 


High School Sweethearts

   This beginning of the song is truly magical and sounds so angelic. This might possibly be the best song she has ever come out with. It’d be hard to complain if the entire song sounded like the intro. Not necessarily a bad thing that it completely changed, but wow, it was unexpected. The listeners always know Crybaby to have incredibly crazy plot twists in the song, and K-12 didn’t disappoint. This song is simply proof that Martinez still has that craziness in her and her melodies. The bridge though, phew. Such a breathtaking part of the song. 



   The storytelling throughout this song is amazing particularly in this song. The details are somewhat insignificant but make all the difference. It makes if feel so real, a song any teenager can relate to in some way. It sounds as if you are at school enjoying a slow dance with your crush, with a nice sparkle to it, if that makes sense. The bridge is so heartwarming and even though the song appears sad and somewhat vulgar, there’s still an innocence to it. This song is the perfect, dreamy closing to the album and this wild journey. It provides a nice summary with the picture painting the overall sound of the track. 


   This album was extremely different from her previous works, give or take a few songs. The Crybaby album sounded angry, while this one sounds very laid back and relaxed, yet she gets her point across in every song. Melanie Martinez is an incredible storyteller through her music. It’s admirable how she is able to create a character and follow a storyline so consistently and convincingly. It’s something extremely hard to do and each track has its own separate piece of art that combines into an overall stunning collection of stories.