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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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AJR disappoints with post-album release, “Bang!”

The+American+pop+band%2C+AJR%2C+in+their+latest+music+video+for+%E2%80%9CBang%2C%E2%80%9D+released+Feb.+12.+%0APHOTO+COURTESY%2F+Youtube+AJR
The American pop band, AJR, in their latest music video for “Bang,” released Feb. 12. PHOTO COURTESY/ Youtube AJR

After their newest album “Neotheater,” came out last year, which drew on relatable themes of loneliness and confusion, fans are expecting a great deal from AJR. The American pop band should have released another upbeat song about belonging, like “Wow, I’m Not Crazy,” or another sentimental song about the future, like “Dear Winter,” both of which are on “Neotheater.” Instead, fans were left unimpressed with “Bang!” –– the average and safe post-album single –– released on Wednesday, Feb. 12. 

 

In the beginning, it seems that the song will be interesting because it has AJR’s signature electro-pop beat paired with an eerie vibe. Through the first verse, I found myself banging my head to the beat and impressed by ad-libs like “I get up, I get down, and I’m jumpin’ around/

And the rumpus and ruckus are comfortable now.” College students can certainly resonate with the intended message of the song: the struggle of being stuck between childhood and adulthood. 

 

However, it soon becomes clear that there is no originality or surprise in the song. The beat never changes, retaining its upbeat tempo and carnival-like vibe. The theme isn’t very original either, as there are hundreds of songs involving the transition of growing up. Compared to the rest of their songs, which always give us something new, AJR produced a song about a conversation that has already been had. 

 

AJR became popular in 2013 when they released the single “I’m ready,” and were named iHeartRadio’s “Artist of the Month” in Jan. 2014; They have continued to top charts, with “Neotheater” debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums and #1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums in Apr. 2019. While the song “Bang” is not bad, it is definitely underwhelming in comparison. AJR  began hinting at this song, after a month-long hiatus, on Feb. 2, and posted a 15-second snippet of it on their Instagram on Feb. 7. With all this anticipation and effort put in to promote the song after the success of “Neotheater,” AJR could have been a lot more original in “Bang!” than using the word “bang” thirty times.

 

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About the Contributor
Alicia Venter
Alicia Venter, Editor-in-Chief
Alicia is a senior Journalism major with a minor in English. She joined the Torch during her freshman year as Assistant News Editor and later became News Editor. In her last year, she is now serving as the Editor-in-Chief. She is excited to expand the Torch’s online presence through the Torch’s newsletter and other digital platforms. She is a native Kentuckian and loves painting, blaring music too loud and strong coffee! You can reach Alicia at [email protected].
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  • I

    Imagine Dragons fanApr 29, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    I laughed when I came across this article. “Most disappointing song?” It’s AJR’s most popular song ever! Sure, it’s not my favorite (I’ve been a fan of AJR since The Click and my favorite would have to be Next Up Forever), but since it came out, it has become a huge hit all over the world! What was disappointing for me was OK Orchestra (other than Bang! Bummerland, My Play, Way Less Sad, and 3 O’clock Things–the rest weren’t very good).

    Reply
  • P

    PaperMar 26, 2021 at 3:51 am

    How the heck is it disappointing? The beat was good, the lyrics were good, and the invariability worked for it.

    Reply
  • M

    MatDec 9, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I honestly liked Bang! Thats how I got introduced to AJR in the first place. It’s really catchy, and over all I think they did a good job! I dont know who they disappointing but they didn’t disappoint me!

    Reply
  • A

    Aleks TessNov 24, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Explain how it is disappointing when they are #24 on the BILLBOARD top 100 and #3 behind Juice WRLD on the alternative charts then

    Reply
  • C

    CherrisNov 19, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I agree that the beat doesn’t vary too much, yeah…still, the song isn’t just about growing up. They’re also referring to how the “show is on a budget” and “pretend you know this song, everybody.” I think it’s a facetious jab at their lack of success. They haven’t had enough success to keep afloat in the music industry. That’s why they “thank you all for coming” but think “it’s time to go.” They’re saying that they can’t keep making music and they’re going out with a bang. At least, that’s what it sounds like. Sad that the song wasn’t considered much, if that interpretation is correct

    Reply
  • B

    b nNov 19, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    BRUH NO I WOULD LIKE TO SEE U TOP THE CHARTS

    SO MAYBE ITS NOT CRAZY ORIGINAL THERE ARE OVER 96 MILLION SONGS IN THE WORLD

    ….the beat staying the same? ya that’s kinda the point

    Reply
  • G

    GuyNov 19, 2020 at 5:11 am

    This song is certainly made to be popular, not to be some lyrical masterpiece. You can’t make the argument that they say the word “bang” too many times and then praise “I’m Ready”. You know why. This is a huge improvement from their old songs, and fans are definitely not disappointed with this song.

    Reply
  • O

    OnionNov 16, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    yeah no this song is just obnoxious. Ajr isn’t bad they sometimes get a bad rap which is undeserved but this song is soooooo annoying. The lyrics are edgy and are hard to take serious. The samples are the worst thing on earth. Every time I hear that “HEERE WE GO” or “metronome!” I want to stop hearing things altogether. Not to mention the droning horns and weird choice of instruments. A carnival sounding song can be done pretty well, look at Leopard by Jack Stauber . There’s a trap beat which doesn’t fit at all just because its whats popular right now doesn’t mean you should do it just because. The overall lack of self awareness and easy lyrics make me think they made it just to blow up so they can make money off i heart radio. I doubt they would have written such a lame song otherwise their music is fine this song just lame. “Ehehe pretend you know this song eeeh”

    Reply
  • S

    SteveNov 16, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    the lyrix are easy as heck. Anyone could come up with this stuff.

    Reply
  • O

    OnionNov 16, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    yeah no this song is just obnoxious. Ajr isn’t bad they sometimes get a bad rap which is undeserved but this song is soooooo annoying. The lyrics are edgy and are hard to take serious. The samples are the worst thing on earth. Every time I hear that “HEERE WE GO” or “metronome!” I want to stop hearing things altogether. Not to mention the droning horns and weird choice of instruments. A carnival sounding song can be done pretty well, look at Leopard by Jack Stauber . There’s a trap beat ?overall very confused and feels maybe rushed? Whatever it is this song grinds my gears

    Reply
  • N

    NoahNov 12, 2020 at 12:07 am

    I don’t see how anyone was disappointed by it. It’s on the charts all the time, and I think it’s an amazing song

    Reply
  • M

    MAUREEN E HAIKJul 20, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I love the cd!

    Reply
  • G

    Georgio VriganniMar 18, 2020 at 10:25 am

    The beat is consistant, like a… METRONOME. i apologize

    Reply
  • A

    angelinaMar 4, 2020 at 10:53 am

    I like the song. I don’t see how someone can get disappointed by this. They tried. they are amazing .

    Reply