Michigander – Everything Will Be Okay Eventually

The thing about sadness is that it is not all the same, but too often artistic representations of sadness treat it is as a one-size-fits-all emotion. Sometimes, sadness can even be coupled with optimism. Not to beat the Covid theme to death, but with some hope on the horizon, mixing optimism into our sadness seems apropos right now and, at least early on, Everything Will Be Okay Eventually seems to deliver a dose of the very medicine we need.

Michigander, essentially Jason Singer, has a singer/songwriter intimacy that is filled out by electronic elements, wrapping the songs into a larger whole. On the album’s first two tracks, Singer manages to walk a melancholy line where things are not happy, yet there is a bouncy upbeat angle that keeps it from veering toward desolation. As he sings on “Let Down,” “I got high hopes, but they let me down.” There is something in the song that feels certain that he won’t be deterred from hoping. Two tracks in, there is every reason to believe that Singer will deal with a fuller spectrum of sadness that reflects life.

Sadly, the rest of the record is far more mundane and less relatable. Aside from parts of “Ok,” which reassures us that it’s okay to be lonely and alone sometimes, everything else barely rises to the level of filler and acts as neither a balm for our pain nor a reality check for our sunniness. Closer, “Together” contains the line, “If the world’s gonna fall apart, maybe we could fall together,” which clearly reaches for the best sympathies of the album, but its delivery is simply too maudlin to work.

For all of its promise, Everything Will Be Okay Eventually fails to deliver on the promise and emotional depth of the first two songs. “Better” and “Let Down” are worth a listen, but after those two, quit while you’re ahead.

Released: March 19, 2021

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

3 thoughts on “Michigander – Everything Will Be Okay Eventually

  1. Chuck

    You have a higher threshold for straightforward rock than I do, and I have a higher threshold for sad and maudlin than you do. With that said, I like this. The songs remind me of The Killers (maybe Sam’s Town era Killers where the band was trying to prove they were capital-S Serious), even if Singer lacks the charisma of Brandon Flowers. But I like The Killers and you don’t, and I clearly like this more than you did.

    The opening line of “Saturday”–“Well it always feels like Saturday when I’m next to you” conjures great images for me, those moments where you’re spending time with someone who is enchanting and exciting and the whole world feels filled with endless promise. Then he sings, “It’s all downhill from here,” and I know what he’s talking about. Saturday inevitably ends and the real world comes back, homework assignments need to be completed or groceries need to be bought or the job needs to be tended to on Monday morning.

    There’s a line in the breakdown of “Headlights” that talks about staying up ’til 5am saying God knows what, and I love that imagery. Any time I’ve still been talking with someone at 5am, there’s usually some kind of magic involved that made us forget an entire night has passed.

    He juxtaposes all of these moments with what comes next–with the moment where we realize I can’t get over you and I don’t want to–rather than recognizing them as the glimmering jewels they are. And maybe you’re right, maybe putting those moments in the context of a regular life diminishes the hope of the album and emphasizes the sadness. But at the same time, aren’t those moments of pure joy what make life wonderful, and maybe isn’t joy simply learning how to love these moments for what they are instead of expecting them to last indefinitely?

    All that to say, I think I like the middle tracks more than I like the opening two songs, but I like those too. For me, this is definitely something I’ll listen to at least a few more times.

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  2. bobvinyl Post author

    It’s interesting, because the imagery you picked up on also resonates with me as I’m reading the comment. But they did not catch me in the songs. What I liked in the first two tracks was that it had similar melancholy themes, but I think being pulled out of the melancholy worked better for me. I think you’re right about the threshold for certain things though. Right before listening to this I was still going through the early Foreigner records and finding they were better than I thought. I doubt that adds much gravitas to my opinion on this album.

    Funny aside: I won’t talk to one of my daughter’s friends, because she played the Killers at my daughter’s 16th birthday party. To say that I don’t like them is an understatement. At the same time, they might be one of the bands I’ve hated so long that I have forgotten why exactly. As I write this, it’s not clear in my head. They might be a candidate for revisiting things I hate, but I’d have to work up to it.

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  3. Chuck

    I’ve listened to this a few more times, and tracks 3 and 4 are definitely my favorites. The melody from “Saturday” was stuck in my head all day yesterday.

    Where I was trying to get with my initial comment is the Buddhist idea that life is suffering. I think part of the reason we suffer so much is because we’re terrible at simply experiencing and appreciating the things that happen in our lives. Instead, we try to stretch out the good moments or rush through the bad moments; we try to extend that Saturday when I’m next to you so it lasts into Sunday and Monday and the rest of our lives, and then we become sad or disappointed because the homework and groceries and job still need attention.

    I don’t necessarily think Singer is grappling with these questions in his lyrics, but I like the fact that he’s considering both the good feelings and bad feelings, and he’s exploring how they overlap and coexist. So many songs simply look at “I’m in love and everything’s great” or “We broke up and I’m heartbroken” that I find Singer’s approach of “I’m in love and I’m heartbroken” to be refreshing and thought provoking.

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