Arts, Music

Gracie Abrams Questions Love and Past Relationships on ‘Good Riddance’

★★★★☆

The 12 tracks on Gracie Abrams’ new album Good Riddance contain mesmerizing, emotional lyrics that tell a story about the struggle between letting go of someone and feeling the pain of holding on to loving memories. 

Abrams released three singles on the album, “Where do we go now?,” “Amelie,” and “Difficult,” before Good Riddance debuted on Feb. 24. 

“Where do we go now?” introduces the theme of questioning decisions and the extent to which people love. The chorus of the song is the title repeated eight times, but each time listeners can hear the pain and resignation in Abram’s voice grow as she wonders what’s next from her tumultuous relationship. 

“But when I kissed you back, I lied / You don’t know how hard I tried / Had to fake the longest time,” Abrams sings to introduce the chorus. 

In “Amelie,” Abrams’ silky soft voice and songwriting skill shine to carry out her message of loving someone because of the good memories you have with them. The song feels like a response to “Where do we go now?” as it asks a similar question, but the slight change in the address entirely changes the meaning from wonder to heartbreak. 

“Where did you go / Amelie, Amelie, Amelie? / Where’d you go? / Or were you all in a dream / Amelie, Amelie?” Abrams sings. 

Abrams’ other single, “Difficult,” expresses the challenge Abrams faces in relationships. This slightly more upbeat song contains questions she asks herself about why it’s difficult for her to leave and change. Her voice is stronger and louder in this song, which reflects her frustration with herself. 

“My double vision / Is only amplifying everything he isn’t / ’Til I feel less attached and bored to death, but listen / It’s no one’s fault, it’s just my terrible condition,” Abrams sings. 

To no one’s surprise, Abrams wore her heart on her sleeve and showed her vulnerability through her music. In her EP released in 2021, This Is What It Feels Like, Abrams poured her heart out with similar songs to the ones on Good Riddance. 

In the first track of Good Riddance, “The Best,” Abrams is vulnerable in one of the most difficult ways—she admits her faults in a relationship. 

“I never was the best to you / I never was the best to you / I never was, I never was / And I destroyed every silver linin’ you had in your head / All of your feelings, I played with them,” Abrams sings. 

“I know it won’t work” similarly reflects on Abrams struggle with love that her heart was not fully in. In her songwriting, Abrams uses questions posed in her mind about the part she played in the failure of a relationship. 

“The call was tough / But you’re better off, I’m bein’ honest / So, won’t you stop / Holdin’ out for me when I don’t want it? / Just brush me off / ‘Cause I’m your ghost right now, your house is haunted,” Abrams sings. 

Abrams sings about her inner struggle in “This is what the drugs are for,” reflecting on her loneliness and the discomfort that arose when she split from the person she loves. Once again, Abrams utilizes questions to express the confusion she is experiencing in this loss. 

“Now, I feel you in my room / Haven’t seen you in a lifetime / What am I supposed to do / When you used to be my lifeline?” Abrams sings. 

The second to last song on the album, “The blue” seems to talk about the experience of developing feelings for someone out of the blue. The song acts as a response to the rest of the album. It captures Abrams’ fear when she realizes she is developing feelings for someone else, rather than singing about a relationship that has already ended.

“What are you doing to me now?” Abrams repeatedly sings throughout the song. 

“Right now,” the final and longest track on the album, breaks from the theme of losing love and investigates Abrams’ fears of regret as she climbs up in the world. The song is slow and melancholy as Abrams continues to be vulnerable with her listeners about the consequences of her career growing. 

“Am I losin’ my family / Every minute I’m gone? / What if my little brother / Thinks my leavin’ was wrong?” Abrams sings. 

“Right now” takes listeners on a journey of Abrams realizing that her life is changing in good ways too. In the outro of the song, Abrams repeats the last line of the chorus three times, reassuring her listeners of her growth in the tough times.

“I feel like myself right now,” Abrams sings. 

March 1, 2023

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