The Nuanced Nature of Good Riddance: An Album Review


“Good Riddance” album cover.

Gracie Abrams’ debut album, Good Riddance, follows her previous EP’s This Is What It Feels Like and minor and is largely inspired by her breakup with Blake Slatkin. Her songwriting has shown a ton of growth since her first release in 2020, exploring her feelings more maturely and nuancedly. Aaron Dessner from The National produced this album, and while his production is good and very similar to works such as Taylor Swift’s folklore, another album that he primarily produced, many of her songs blend together and begin to lose meaning. For instance, the transition between “I know it won’t work” and “Full Machine” feels hazy and it is hard to distinguish between the end of one song and the beginning of another. This happens again with “I should hate you” and “Will you cry?” and ultimately, the message of the song isn’t prominent with the audience. 

However, the album is overall very good. Abrams’ songwriting abilities are able to shine in this album, and comparing her lyricism now to her older works, the progression is admirable. In “I should hate you,” she explores how the remnants of her fractured relationship have left her in a spiral where she questions why she doesn’t hate her ex-partner, and lyrics such as “Pulled the knifе out my back, it was right where you left it / But you aimеd kinda perfect, I’ll give you the credit” shows the extent of her songwriting abilities. In “This is what the drugs are for,” lyrics such as “You painted my life indigo, oh / A kind of blue I hate to know, oh” also exemplify this, due to the complexity of this line. Indigo has a contrasting meaning to blue because while blue is associated with melancholy, indigo is meant to represent devotion and has a positive connotation. Gracie ends her album with “Right now,” a reflection of how difficulties in her life have affected her and how the “difficult road” can take a toll on someone. Good Riddance comes to an end with the lyrics “I’m so tired, but can’t sit down / What if this is it for now? / Think I’m more alive somehow / I feel like myself right now”– an impactful end to an already moving album. 

Good Riddance is available on all streaming platforms, and we recommend that everyone listens!