The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


Gracie Abrams’ Good Riddance is a Mixed Bag

Photo shows Gracie Abrams performing at El Ray Theatre in 2022. Photo credit: Justin Higuchi on Flickr; Creative Commons License

By Contributing Writer Tara Thorne (’24)

On February 23, Gracie Abrams released her debut album, Good Riddance. Up until now, she’s cultivated an impressive following through her singles and EPs (along with some help from nepotism and being an opener for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour). This album was produced by Aaron Dessner of The National, who is also known for his work with Swift on both folklore and evermore. The album stayed true to her normal sound, which is indie pop galore. 

The album opens with “Best” which sets a tone of self-accountability and guilt, a theme that Abrams is very familiar with. A recurring concept in Abrams’s work is hurting her past lovers by not caring enough and not being able to make herself love them. The song is boring until the bridge which is a casual masterpiece. Each line is another blow – listening to it almost feels like falling down a flight of stairs into some kind of deep, dark, guilty abyss (and hitting all your weak spots on the way down). At the end of the song, she gives us the general thesis for the album with these two lines- “You’re the worst of my crimes” and, “You fell hard, I thought ‘good riddance’.” 3.5/5

The second track, “I know it won’t work” continues on with the feelings of guilt about someone loving her more than she loves them. This song has become something of a fan favorite from the album, especially the chorus. The chorus is more catchy and stronger. She moves away from her normal cursive-like, whisper style of singing – which is what she gets the most critique for – and uses more than just her head voice. A standout lyric for this song is “I’m your ghost right now your house is haunted,” an off-the-cuff bar. 4.5/5

Full machine” moves away from Abrams’ normal guilty rants. This is a love song, one about a relationship she knows doesn’t have the best chances due to their differences and her flaws. The song is a raw, pleading, open flesh wound. She’s begging him to let them happen despite everything that’s wrong with her, yet also acknowledging that being with him might not be the best for her: “I’m a forest fire/You’re the kerosine/I had a life here before you/But now it’s burnin’.” While it still has her signature lethal doses of self-deprecation, it moves away from the guilty confessions, a much needed break from them. 4.7/5

Where do we go now?” jumps right back into Abrams wishing that she could love someone as much as they love her. The song is about being lost in a relationship, not knowing how to move on without losing them – while also acknowledging that she can’t be with them. The chorus is a tad too repetitive, but the bridge saves the song again. And of course, she ends every lyric explaining why they’re not right together with “but I miss you,” because it wouldn’t be a Gracie Abrams song without knowing better yet not doing better. 4.4/5

I should hate you” is, shockingly, an angry song. Up until the bridge, there’s an unanswered question, which is “Why don’t you hate him?” She gives us every reason to hate him to the point that we’re at the point of hating him for her. Of course, the answer is simple – she loves him. So yet again, she’s mad at herself in the end for not hating him. Wow, another song about being in the wrong – something new and exciting that we definitely haven’t seen yet! While it’s important for an album to have common themes, the repetition of this same message is tiring. 3.8/5

Will you cry?” is a question that should have an obvious answer, but apparently it doesn’t. As Abrams questions whether or not her partner even cares for her, she switches between painfully plain lyrics and genius. She delves into her partner’s flaws, his shallowness, and his quickness to fight with her, but in the end, she still wants him to care if she leaves. This song didn’t do enough with a boring melody that the lyrics can’t rescue. 3.2/5

Amelie is a work of fantasy. Abrams had a brief interaction with a girl named Amelie and has built a savior persona around her that she can’t let go of. It’s a quiet song, with a vocal style that takes a special kind of person to appreciate, and I’m not that kind of person. I spent most of the song wanting to tell Abrams to speak up and sing it with her chest. The repetition at the end quickly becomes insipid, especially as I began to hope for some kind of cathartic release a la “Waiting Room by Phoebe Bridgers, but regrettably, that didn’t happen. 2.0/5

Difficult” is yet another Gracie Abrams song about hating herself and not being good enough for a relationship. I think we’ve established how I feel about this by now. However, the song has a good melody, and strong lyrics. The two work together to create the feeling of spiraling, of drowning in these feelings of shame, guilt, and self-loathing. 3.7/5

This is what the drugs are for is about Abrams wallowing after a breakup when her ex moved on and realizing, you guessed it, what the drugs are for. The song is simply not that good, and a total let down in comparison to the rest of the album. 1.7/5

Fault line is almost like the opposite perspective of “Will you cry.” Abrams sings, “You could go and I won’t even feel it.” She admits that she uses him as an outlet for when she’s feeling low, that she knows it’s destined to be short lived, and that they’ll both end up “breaking.” The song is a bit too simple; if we’re being honest, I forgot I was listening to it about halfway through. 3.1/5

The blue is very different from the rest of the album, and pretty much Abrams’ entire discography. It’s a love song, and – get this – it’s happy. It explores the feeling of a new relationship in a hopeful, gleeful, lovey-dovey way – I approve. Although the title made me think it would be another depressing anthem, it ended up being a pleasant surprise. 4.2/5

Right now is about Abrams’ experience traveling around the world, touring. She’s feeling out of place in the world, but right in place with herself – every line about her sense of being lost is ended with “I feel like myself right now.” It’s the life she chose, and it’s the right one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lonely one. All this considered, it’s still boring. 2.7/5

All in all, the album was mediocre. While it definitely had some strong and solid, songs, it was also insanely repetitive and lacking in theme diversity. After listening to it in full multiple times, all I have to say are some words of wisdom for Abrams – get over it. I’d say that the best way to enjoy this album is definitely not in full, not unless you’ve just gone through a breakup in which you were the problem. 


  1. Full machine 
  2. I know it won’t work 
  3. Where do we go now 
  4. The blue 
  5. I should hate you 
  6. Difficult 
  7. Best 
  8. Will you cry 
  9. Fault line 
  10. Right now 
  11. Amelie 
  12. This is what the drugs are for 
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