Some people may say my tastes are limited; that I only review rock and alternative bands (and the like). However, in today’s music landscape it’s near impossible to find decent rock and roll and thus I feel it is my responsibility to share my findings. Namely, bands and artists writing and performing KILLER rock music and not getting the attention they deserve. This is a perfect way to describe Boston ex-pat Colleen Green who now calls sunny LA home. Green’s 2015 LP I Want To Grow Up perfectly captures the anxiety, fear, and excitement everyone in their 20’s goes through as they leave college and school behind and realize that it is time to get serious (just not too serious).
The record, which is out on Hardly Art and is the third full length for Green shows tremendous artistic and lyrical growth as she explores a multitude of millennial themes and feelings. The album opens with the titular track “I Want to Grow Up” in which Green sings “sick of being young, sick of being dumb” over a fuzzy, distorted alt riff and her simple drum machine back beat. Colleen’s drum machine is a staple of her sound and though she has graduated to bringing a drummer on tour with her, the drum machine on her records contributes heavily to her lo-fi aesthetic. “Wild One” brings her vocals to the forefront and makes you realize, this girl can sing! Poppier than the first track, “Wild One” gives way to “TV” one of my favorites on the album. A chunky riff and faster tempo give the song a pop punk feel a la Blink 182 and you suddenly realize why she covered the bands classic hit “M&M’s” years ago. She sings “TV is my friend, and it has been, with me every day…from an early age” something millennials who grew up with Nickelodeon feel all too well. “Pay Attention” brings things back to a pop leaning sound with a dance beat that gets your feet moving and smoothly transitions into the darker, 80’s tinged “Deeper than Love” as Green leaves behind the 90’s for the sounds of her birth decade.
A highlight of the album is back to back tracks “Things That Are Bad for Me” part I and II. The first sees Green happily singing “I’ve gotta stop doing things that are bad for me” as she adopts the mentality we all have as we try to grow up and be more mature. No more late nights, no more partying every weekend, eating healthier, all things everyone must come face to face with. However, part two is the contradiction. Adopting a significantly heavier sound (the heaviest on the album) Green employs a driving, tonal riff and steady beat as she talks about how anxiety and a little voice inside her head make her keep doing things that she KNOWS are bad for her and yet she can’t seem to stop. Something everyone in their 20’s can relate to.
The following track “Some People” brings love back as the central theme as Green sings of envying those around her who find love so easily while she sits in a loveless, relationship void. Here we see the themes from “TV” showing up again towards the end of the album. The idea of loneliness, lack of a love life, and all this depressing negativity while still feeling like it’s time to be an adult and be mature is ever present throughout each song. The album closes with a bang and a breeze. “Grind My Teeth” is the punkiest on the album and brings to mind Southern California punk gods The Descendents. The album then finishes calmly with the positive, uplifting indie pop of “Whatever I Want” which sees Green realizing that despite all the negativity and contradictions associated with growing up, the best part of being an adult is the freedom of being able to do whatever you want.
Colleen Green has hit the nail on the head when it comes to getting older. Often times you’re caught up in a whirlwind of confusion and mostly feel like you’re just faking your way through each day/month/year. Luckily for the rest of us, Green is here to put our minds at ease and let us know we’re not alone.