Human is the new album released by YouTuber, author, and talented singer-songwriter, Dorothy Clark, known as Dodie to her fans. The album released January 18, and she already has music videos for three of the seven songs on the album.
Arms Unfolding: According to Dodie, “Arms Unfolding” is about “two friends who are learning to fall in love with each other again.” The minute and a half song consists of Dodie singing over an acapella monotone. It’s a cute, simple start to the album, although I personally don’t typically like acapella tracks. But I don’t like how it’s immediately followed by “Monster’ which has a totally different tone than “Arms Unfolding.”
Monster: “Monster” is one of the more catchier songs on the album because it follows the more upbeat pop sound than most of her other songs. Most of the other tracks on this album just have simple acoustic sounds, but “Monster” has a lot of digital sounds and is more like mainstream pop.
Not only did I find the song itself to be really unique and creative, but the music video for it was also very well-made. All the characters are monsters and it follows one monster in particular as he gets frustrated while trying to speed date and goes crazy. Despite being low budget, I thought they did a really good job with what they had. PJ Liguori, another popular YouTuber with the channel KickThePJ, worked on a lot of the creatures in the video.
Not What I Meant: “Not What I Meant,” featuring Lewis Watson, is inspired by a short film by Dodie’s friend/ colleague, Dom Fera. The song addresses how everyone on the internet has a constant need for validation and the competitive nature that arises because of that need. It mentions the strain competition of creators on platforms like YouTube can affect real life relationships and make people do attention grabbing things. It’s not the most memorable or unique song on the album, but it’s pretty decent.
Human: The first version of the song “Human” was actually released in July of 2016 in a video she did with another YouTuber, Jon Cozart. The newest version that’s on the album has Tom Walker for the male vocals. She originally wrote this song to be about deep connections and forming beautiful relationships. But when she looked back on it later, she saw that it was really about dependency and obsession. She says that humans have an inherent need for love and attention and “Human” encapsulates the desperation for attention that she believes we all have. There is also a music video for this song; the imagery is alright, but overall it’s unmemorable.
She: According to Dodie, “She” is a song based on when she had a crush on her straight best friend when she was seventeen. Dodie had to come to terms with her sexuality and understand her developing feelings for her friends. The lyrics are heartbreakingly sweet; Dodie uses a lot of metaphors to describe the sensations of a first crush. She describes her crush as “tast[ing] like apple juice and peach”, but then ends by saying “to her, I taste like nothing at all.”
If I’m Being Honest: This might be my favorite song on the entire album. “If I’m Being Honest” is a song about the insecurities that come along with crushes. Dodie’s sincere delivery of the vulnerable, honest lyrics captures the listener’s attention.
This song also has a music video to go along with it. Like the other two, the video is very creative and pure. In the video, a time traveling woman gets stranded in the woods and befriends a little girl. The music plays over scenes of the two of them playing in the woods. It’s suggested that the little girl has an abusive mother which she and the time traveler bond over.
Burned Out: “Burned Out” is great because it contrasts Dodie’s pessimistic and optimistic sides. On one hand, she feels undeserving and guilty for her fans’ love; on the other, their love buoys her spirits and pushes her to be someone they can look up to. When her pessimistic side takes over, the music is somber and her voice is serious, but when her optimistic side takes over, the music turns light and she sounds cheerful.
Overall: The album doesn’t necessarily have one specific theme or thing it’s trying to say. Instead, it focuses on multiple aspects of human emotion and relationships. It’s about introspection, but also stresses the importance of our relationships with others. Dodie has a great voice that sounds very dainty and soft. As a whole, I think her new album is my favorite of hers.