Why Don’t We Steps Up With New Album ‘The Good Times and the Bad Ones’

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Photo By @whydontwemusic

Why Don’t We’s new album ‘The Good Times and the Bad Ones’ released on Friday, Jan. 15. It describes the highs of writing songs while touring and the lows of writing songs during the pandemic. Photo courtesy of @whydontwemusic

After achieving worldwide success with their debut album 8 Letters back in 2018, pop band Why Don’t We could have easily continued doing things the exact same way for follow-up releases. After all, it’s not every day that a singer or music group wins numerous awards including MTV Video Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards while selling out stadiums across the globe. However, a problem came to light after numerous fans and interviews asked about the meaning of the songs. The band did not know how to act as all of their songs were written by other people. On top of that, producers and managers were shoving words into the boys’ mouths and telling them what to say, making their thoughts and feelings invalid.

In contrast with the band’s new album titled The Good Times and the Bad Ones which was released on Friday, Jan. 15, the band members were able to write and produce all of the songs themselves. The title The Good Times and the Bad Ones describes the highs of writing songs while touring and the lows of writing songs during the pandemic.

The album begins with Fallin’ (Adrenaline), a single which was released on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Beginning with an iconic drum line originally sampled from Kanye West, the song goes through the highs and lows of falling for a girl. Perhaps it’s the constant increase in the vocal range that keeps listeners on their feet, or how the lyrics create a rhythm in the chorus instead of the beats. Whatever it is, the song is incredibly melodic and makes it the perfect song to sing in the car with your windows rolled down.

Next is Slow Down, another single which was released prior to the album. The song captures the emotions related to a long-distance relationship and how distance creates doubt between lovers. The term ‘Californication’ is used in this song to describe a perfect utopia: a place where everyone and everything is young and beautiful, life is without sorrow, and it’s a perfect place to escape to heal an aching heart. The song samples American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins’ January 1996 track of 1979, however, it brings a more modern take on the sound and makes it the perfect addition to the album.

My favorite song on this album is Be Myself, which focuses on the feeling of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The song was written by Daniel Seavey after bandmate Jack Avery had an honest conversation with him about having panic attacks during COVID-19. Prior to listening to this song, I didn’t know that Why Don’t We was capable of writing such profound lyrics. Their debut album and released singles had all revolved around girls and relationships. By releasing such a personal song, Why Don’t We shows the world that they are not constrained to one topic and that they don’t need to depend on love songs or their looks to make it big in the music industry.

Another favorite song on this album is Love Song, which describes a partner in a relationship trying to become a better person for their significant other. When releasing their debut album Fallin’ (Adrenaline), Why Don’t We made it clear that they wanted to change into a more pop-rock sounding band with their new album. However, not many songs lived up to their expectation. Thankfully, the electric guitar riffs and the heavy drums in Love Song did, which made it stand out from the other songs.

Overall, Why Don’t We exhibited tremendous growth from their debut album 8 Letters. They were able to write their own lyrics, which made the emotions feel more sincere. However, the lyrics still tend to be weak at times and the chords are so similar that it’s hard to distinguish between the songs. Additionally, besides Slow Down, the vocals typically range in one octave. This album could have been better, but saying that this is the first time that they collectively wrote and produced the songs together without any help is impressive. If the band improves as much in the next album as they did from their previous album, there is no doubt that they will continue to stay on top of the music industry.

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