Album Review: “After School” by Melanie Martinez

Melanie Martinez released a new album titled “After School” in late September. The seven-track EP is a sequel to her epic visual album “K-12.

Melanie Martinez is a very unique artist and her music plays out a specific storyline. She is very pastel goth and creepy-cute. Her music is a mix between bubblegum pop and alternative, with a lot of electro. Her music appears light on the surface but is actually quite dark and heavy, like a nursery rhyme turned emo. You can also hear sounds of baby pianos, music boxes, and toys. More recently her sound is influenced by trap and hiphop.

Her first debut album “Cry Baby” was an introduction to a little girl named Cry Baby through her infant years. In the follow-up “K-12,” we got to see Cry Baby head off to school. She started her first day of Kindergarten as she took us all the way through her school years until twelfth grade graduation.

“After School” is similar to “K-12” as it keeps up with the theme of school days. It sounds like sounds that could’ve fit anywhere on her “K-12” album but didn’t originally make it.


1. Notebook is about trying to teach your boy how to love you. He can’t satisfy you so you have to pass on your lessons and hope he can love someone else better.

“Write this sh** in your notebook, baby, since you never wrote love letters to me.”

2. Test Me is about feeling tested by the universe. The melody represents life feeling like a circus.

Give me an A+ if I’m doing this thing right

3. Brain & Heart argues that going with your brain verses going with your heart can both lead to negative consequences, that we should be seeking balance between both.

A God belongs, a journey where rivers connect all of me

4. Numbers is about being treated like a number. This can be compared to any authority figure who can be compared to a “teacher” who treats you like a robot designed to meet their unrealistic goals rather than an actual human being with feelings.

You push us past our limits just to watch our numbers grow

5. Glued is about feeling overly attached, clinging to someone, or clinging to your own thoughts and reality instead of taking a step back. Like a craft, you stick your to the paper. It ponders how detachment can lead to less pain, but that’s can also be a very boring way to live.

You’re glue with the XYZ, I’m glued with the ABC

6. Field Trip is trippy! Melanie sings about being a life path #11 with Scorpio and Taurus in her chart, and also goes off in Spanish.

Tryna bring the mystical into the material

7. The Bakery reminds me of the patty cake handclap game. This is a fun and cute song and makes me think of hustling and trying to get sh** done.

Pack it, box it, flip it, top it”


Rating: 5 out of 5.

For those who loved “K-12” but wanted a little more, then this is perfect! Go give it a listen!

Where do you think Melanie Martinez will go with the future of her music? Will she keep up with the Cry Baby storyline and follow through her early years of adulthood and beyond? Will she stick with the school days theme? Will she ever go back to the theme of infant years? Or will she come up with something entirely different? It’s hard to say where this creative genius will go next, but I’m excited to find out!


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