Album Review: “i used to think i could fly”

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Credit: WSPN Staff

WSPN’s Misha Lee discusses Tate McRae’s latest album, “i used to think i could fly.”

Mischa Lee

Four years ago, Tate McRae dropped her first original song, “One Day,” on Youtube, and it didn’t take long for Tate’s voice to capture the hearts of millions. From there, she continued creating original songs and posting them on Youtube, and her music career has done nothing but grow ever since.

After releasing two extended plays, “All The Things I Never Said,” in 2020 and “Too Young To Be Sad,” in 2021, this rising star finally dropped a long-anticipated album called “i used to think i could fly” on May 27, 2022. McRae’s loyal fans listened to the album on repeat, making it on the top album lists on both Apple Music and Spotify throughout the days after the release. I guarantee you that “i used to think i could fly” will have you feeling like you’re going through every step of a breakup–feeling all the pain, anger and relief of the relationship you’re not in.

McRae wanted the album to portray a story, showing the pain and hardship of growing up and also going through heartbreak. There are 13 songs on the album, and the order of the songs show how much your feelings can change and how some days you have an “I’m so over you” attitude while other days you’re sobbing on the floor. She wanted it to be like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, which she executed perfectly.

McRae teased the album with a few songs that she released early, like “what would you do?,” “chaotic,” “she’s all i wanna be” and “feel like shit.” With every new song McRae released, my excitement and anticipation for the release of the full album grew. The morning before school on May 27, I played the album while I was getting ready for school, and I instantly fell for McRae’s heartfelt lyrics. Every song in this album is so personal to McRae but also so relatable for many people. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re going through a breakup like she was, the lyrics could be interpreted in so many ways, and I think that is what makes this album so special.

The first ‘song’ on the album is actually a 16-second recording of McRae talking about growing up and ending it off with saying, “And when I was younger I like, I used to think I could fly,” already tying in the name of her album. I loved how this little part was like an introduction to the album. It reminded me of a mini trailer to a movie, preparing me for what I was about to listen to. This short clip also helped the transition into the next song, “don’t come back.” “don’t come back” is a big “I’m over you song” and I love the angry emotion McRae puts into it.

Some more songs that have that angry emotion are “what would you do?” and “you’re so cool”. These songs have a sarcastic tone to them which I like because they add a fun twist to the beat and spice up the songs a little bit. In both these songs, McRae talks about how her ex thinks that they’re too good and too cool for her now. The lyrics in both songs show a confident, vengeful attitude which adds a good mix because some other songs in the album are really emotional.

On that note, songs that make me tear up are “boy x,” “i still say goodnight,” “go away,” and “chaotic.” The tune of all of these songs is heart-wrenching, and the melodies for each song are so sad. The lyrics go together very well and really dive deep into McRae’s emotions and feelings. I love how McRae chose “i still say goodnight” as the closing song in her album. It is a very slow and melancholy song, but it’s also very beautiful. As I said in the beginning, McRae wanted her album to portray a story, and she felt as though this song was like a song that would be played during the rolling credits of a movie.

Another song that falls under the emotional category is the song “hate myself.” McRae wrote this song the night she went through the breakup, so it is very raw and personal. The lyrics are heartbreaking, saying that “you couldn’t hate me more than I hate myself.” While she was recording the song, McRae said that if you listen closely, you can hear her voice breaking because she was crying while she was recording.

This album definitely felt like I was listening to a bunch of stories that related to each other, and if I’m being honest, I can’t exactly choose a song that’s my favorite. I love all the songs so much as they each have a deeper meaning. This album is full of different kinds of songs, but they all relate to one thing; heartbreak. So, if you want to feel that tumultuous ride of emotions, definitely listen to this album.