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Kennedy Stone, Staff Writer

Johnston has had suicides happen in the student body before unfortunately. While each story is different, they all ended in the same tragic way. It leaves so many people permanently scared, and it is something that leaves so many questions unanswered. You think “What could I have done to prevent this from happening?”, “Why wasn’t I a better friend?”, “How can we live in a world so awful, that people would take their own life, rather than live in it?”. “If only I could’ve felt the same way they were feeling at the time. Maybe I could’ve helped. If only I could understand.” It seems like an impossible dream, but now we have a song that might be able to help us with just that. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid on the album “Everybody”, is that song.

Music is such a subjective thing. Yet, people get criticized for having their own, unique tastes and are judged for the type they like. I’ve always believed that the structural parts of music were meant to be analyzed, like the rhythmic variety, verse to chorus patterns and dynamics. Everything else is all up to personal opinion, yet people only seem to focus on the opinionated parts of music and base their reviews off of that. As a music critic, this drives me completely insane, and makes me wonder what is the point of music, if the very thing that makes it so attractive, is used to shame people, and make them feel worse than they already were?

When I start to think like that, something awful happens. In a matter of seconds, everything becomes meaningless, hopeless, and too cruel to try and make better. It’s like being in a haze, walking through a thick fog. You know what’s happening, but you are so numb you don’t care. All you can think about is how you want everything to just end. For someone to put you out of your misery. You just want to die. Even if that means you have to do the deed yourself.

The first time I heard this song, I was driving home from school and I almost had to pull over. Since the emotional trip this song takes you on is so strong. It brings forth the feeling of being lost in your thoughts in the worst way possible. You go through the stages of feeling suicidal, and like the thoughts themselves, it never lets up for a second. This is all presented to you in the form of rising and falling instrumentals, and beautifully strained vocals. The instrumentals, specifically the piano, go up and down like waves of emotion. Even though this line doesn’t change, except for the brief bit of violin at the end, it still works because it adds the feeling of being trapped in a never-ending cycle, that only changes when make yourself see something different at the end of it all.  Thus, once again giving us a glimpse of thoughts of a suicidal person.

While the instrumentals are amazing, it’s the lyrics that make this song so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Without going into a personal story, the song laments about how the world around you is cold and cruel. How it never helps you even when you admit defeat. It takes you through the process of being at your lowest, then the eventual clarity of realizing even small things are worth living for. Finally, even if you still don’t believe in yourself fully, you don’t want to die. The listener will hear this story unfold unlike most songs today, as the verses and choruses change in lyrics and rhythm, as the song goes on. We live in a world, where people say openly that they wished they were dead and gone. This song blatantly says “I don’t wanna be alive/I just wanna die today”. With the way the notes ascend and decent on these lines and the way the pattern repeats. It shows how eerily comfortable the person is with saying these things. What makes it even more impactful, is the fact that none if the singers overdo their lines. None if they are hitting those powerful high notes, or screaming out dramatically in agony. The song isn’t desperate to be a tearjerker. Logic’s tone was stagnant, yet filled with story. Khalid’s part was short but emotional. Even Alessia Cara’s part managed to be gentle but empowering. It’s the very pinnacle of the saying “less is more”.

Everything about this song is real. Nothing is forced in to attract a certain audience, and nothing is half-heartedly done. There’s emotion, talent, and a story to be told. For these reasons, and for everything this song stands for, I give it a 4.8 out of 5. I hope this song somehow helps anyone who is struggling with their lives, and for anyone with a friend that they are really worried about, just remember the title of this song. Even if you do not have these issues, I encourage everyone to give this song a listen. After that, I’d like someone to see come up to me, look me in the eyes, and tell me all pop music is meaningless.