Melanie Martinez makes comeback with K-12

Katya Tarabrina, Organizations Editor

The world had not seen anything quite as different as Melanie Martinez when she was first discovered in 2012 on “The Voice.” And though she did not place, that did not stop her from following her dreams of becoming someone in the music industry, releasing her debut EP, “Cry Baby,” and first-ever studio album, “CryBaby,” within a year of each other.

While many people had mixed feelings about the new artist, no one expected her career to spiral down, despite its prominent beginnings, with sexual misconduct allegations against her in December of 2017. This lead to a years-long silence from Martinez until she announced the release of her second album “K-12” for Sept. 6 — along with a movie of the same name — four years after the release of “Cry Baby.”

Although many thought the accusations would be the end to her once-rising popularity, it seems that she has successfully recovered. She has since gained many new fans who once believed Timothy Heller — an aspiring musician who accused Martinez of an assault — but after reviewing several articles of evidence changed their opinion or some who have stuck by Martinez’s side from the start.

What many didn’t realize was that K-12 would be a continuation of “Cry Baby’s” story, this time following the girl’s school life. The movie that was released correlates with all the songs and puts images with the songs in a way that is artistic and easy to follow.

Most of the album is about relationships “Cry Baby” has with the other people at school. 

“Drama Club” is a song about someone who is putting on an appearance for other people. “Cry Baby” uses the lyric “I didn’t sign up for your Drama Club” as substitute to the famous saying “I didn’t sign up for this” and in this context she uses it to say that when she became friends with this person, she didn’t expect them to “put on a show” all the time. She sings, “You always hide behind your Wizard of Oz disguise/ Do you even have a brain? You’re sticking to a page/You’re faking all your pain yet you’re bleeding on a stage.”

I enjoyed the way this song uses being an actor in Drama Club and “playing a role” as an analogy for people that are pretending to be someone they are not. 

Another song I thought stood out is called “High School Sweethearts.” 

In the song, “Cry Baby” lists rules for boys who want to date her. “Step one/You must accept that I’m a little out my mind/Step two/This is a waste if you can’t walk me down the finish line”

The song has a very interesting message that I think a lot of girls can relate to relationships. “Cry Baby” is saying in the song that she is clingy, needy and hard to deal with, so she sings “High school sweethearts, shut up/If you’re not my type.” Meaning, don’t waste her time if you can’t handle her. 

And lastly, the song I would say is my favorite from this entire album is called “Lunchbox Friend.” It is about people who don’t really understand you, talk bad about people behind their backs, make fun of people but also want a perfect life with “a baby in the back.” They are temporary friends who will stop being interested in you as soon as you leave the lunch table. 

I think this song holds a strong message that a lot of people can learn from. I have definitely made the mistake of thinking people who talk bad about other people are good people at their core. I do wish this song was around so I wouldn’t have made the decisions that I did. 

Overall this album definitely had me surprised. Though sharing several characteristics with “Cry Baby” such as the tone of the music and acoustics, K-12 is also very different from “Cry Baby”. One thing that is for sure is that it looks like “Cry Baby” is going to always be a prominent figure in Martinez’s career or at least for the time being.