After four years of zero new songs or albums, Melanie Martinez has finally returned to the spotlight.
Martinez's previous album Crybaby was amazing because her songs talk about controversial topics without shoving her polemic down our throats. For Martinez, making music is not about the “fire” beat or the “crazy good” rap verse. It’s about getting an important message out to her listeners in a creative way. One of the more popular songs from the new K-12 album, "Wheels on the Bus", sends listeners this message: "We see the damage we’re doing to our planet and our children, but we’re not going to do anything about it”
In the first minute of "Wheels on the Bus", Martinez sings “I know the driver sees it. I know he’s peeking in the rear-view mirror. He says nothing”.
In a way we are all the bus driver in this song. We see corruption. We see the environment destroyed. We acknowledge this is harmful to us and the world we live in, yet we do nothing to change it. My favorite song from the album would have to be "Principal". This song is so transparent even though she doesn't directly “attack” the person she’s referring to. It’s as if her songs each hold subliminal messages that we yet understand easily.
She sings two lines from the song that finally make clear who and what she is referring to “When you come and hurt us just so you can get your money. Forced to follow the leader who’s possessed by demons.”
This song can be interpreted differently with different ears, but it has one main message: we are led by some corrupt politicians, ones who only pretend to care about us for prestige and money.
Martinez' new K-12 album is eye opening, and I would recommend this album to anyone no matter what genre of music they’re into. This album is not about making another “bop” for our generation to listen to for a couple weeks then forget about. This album was made to send us an important message about what is broken in our culture and how we might fix it.