i found this album when i was like 17 and it changed me forever

How To Be A Human Being by Glass Animals

Genre - Indie Alternative


This album has stuck with me for a very long time, and probably will for the forseeable future. Every single song has its own little hook that grabs me and makes me repeat it on end for weeks until I leave it to gather dust for the next few months, and then the process repeats. It has a hypnotic appeal to it as a whole. The entire album is a collection of stories, each song a vignette into the life of a random person the band has met in their travels. Agnes, the final song on the album, focuses on the singer himself. The combination of stories for every single track gives the album a truly "alive" feeling, and makes the title properly fit. It is a peek into the humanity we often overlook and don't pay much mind to. The daily, everyday acts that seem to pass us by from those we meet on the street and in the grocery store.

Favorite Tracks - Life Itself, Pork Soda, Poplar St

Unlike the previous albums, It's simply too hard for me to choose two favorites. As of writing this (02/04/2023) I have to say these are my favorites that I seem to return to time and time again. Life Itself feels like it was written for me. It is relatable to me in all of the wrong ways, the singer taking on the persona of someone who is washed up and had his best years long ago. Whether this is projection or truthful, only time will tell. He recalls being told that he's going to be something incredible one day, yet denounces any claim that there was truth behind it. A proper self-depricator, almost every reference back to himself is negative and putting himself down. The music is hypnotic in a way, almost sounding like what you'd expect to hear from the soundtrack of a game that takes place in a rainforest. It feels very early 2010s, which makes sense for the time of the album. The mixing has aged very well, the song itself doesn't feel terribly crushing and rather just perfectly brings the listener into the world of the album. To me, it even sounds like the cover of the album. It is a good preparation for what is to come.

Pork Soda feels like it takes place in the urban neighborhood down the way from Life Itself. The opening makes the listener feel like an eavesdropper on several conversations they should not be able to hear, and it truly does put you into that world even further. The verses are the strongest part of this song in my opinion, with the rising volume and octaves up until the choruses mellow out, but the energy comes right back once the verse returns. I'm usually really picky with cursing in music, it tends to be used for shock value far more than is necessary, and just ends up sounding stupid. The second verse of this song skirts the line, but the way he continues singing as if it's just another word helps really put the listener into the mind of the singer himself. It truly is just another word. This is not a white, gentrified neighborhood we are in. It's real and messy and full of many types of people from many places. The song itself has a very rhythmic and bass-driven sound to it, it really leads you along with the echoed vocals and allows you to properly let yourself fall into the music. The breaks of sudden silence add to the comfort of the bass, making the listener borderline uncomfortable when they vanish suddenly. My personal favorite part of this song is the third verse of the song, where it almost feels like a proper story being told. The line "I want you all the time" always gets me singing along. It takes advantage of the break in music and truly accentuates the insane, obsessive nature of the lyrics that's so easy to ignore with the instrumentals intended to make you focus on the background. It's a really genius song in my opinion, and the return of the eavesdropping in the end moments of the song makes it feel like you've just listened in on an entire story not meant for your ears, and the song itself was your vivid imagination filling in the cracks. One of my favorite songs ever to listen to by far.

The opening riff from Poplar St is the reason I ever picked up the guitar and began playing. I used to listen to this song over and over just for that one riff, it really strikes something in my mind. The instrumental of this song is one of my favorites from the album - maybe even my true favorite. Something about it always pulls me in when I revisit the full album, I can't help but repeat it a few times before I continue on my way. The subject of the song is risque at best and adulterous at worst, depending on how much you care about the singer's affair with his married neighbor. Though, it truly doesn't feel like the song is only about that subject. I can't seem to nail down the meaning of the song, and I don't think I ever will. It speaks to me as a warning almost, to be careful with yourself. Do not let your heart follow where your body goes, or else you will end up used and betrayed. The chorus draws me in every time, you can feel yourself falling into the sand with the singer, rose-colored glasses hanging over the bridge of your nose. The world feels so lovely when you're the one doing the manipulating and using. It's only when the knife is turned on you do you truly understand what you've done to all those before you.

Cane Shuga - Least Favorite Track

The interlude doesn't count, because it's not a song. The only reason I put this one here is because despite all the times I've listened to it, I can't figure out what it actually means. There's a very superficial, obvious meaning behind it, but I can't accept that it's the true one. A person breaking up with their lover (messily) because they're a cocaine addict doesn't seem to properly fit the album for me. The instrumental leaves more to the imagination - it makes me feel like there is more, but I just can't find it. That may be a flaw with me, however, and not with the song.

I seriously wish I could put all the songs as my favorite for this one, but I cannot. And, I cannot give it a perfect score because of all the 11 songs on the album, I tend to only give 4-5 of them frequent re-listens. All of the songs are stunning in their own ways and deserve several listens through by everyone who visits this lovely world of an album, but not every song will speak to every listener. I give it an extremely strong 8.5/10 simply because if I gave it a higher score it may feel unfair in the future. Or maybe I'll come back and change this in the future. Only time will tell.

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