James Hock - MRH Faculty
Review: Nessa Barrett’s Young Forever
By Alexis Z.
Released on October 14th, 2022, following her debut EP ‘Pretty Poison’, Nessa Barrett’s debut album Young Forever could be considered the best debut album to date from an up and coming Tik Tok artist. From her creative sound to her heartfelt lyrics, Young Forever is something that teens in this generation can relate to and love.
Young Forever is Barrett’s debut album, something she built from the ground up using her struggles. This album gives listeners a look into Barrett’s brain, everything from the way she feels about love, to the way she describes her struggles with depression and bipolar disorder. She gives listeners something to relate to and something to use to describe the ways they might be feeling.
Her struggles show through very clearly in this record. Songs like ‘Gaslight’, ‘f***marrykill’ and
‘madhouse’ highlight her struggles with having a huge online presence, and dealing with hate
from the internet. In ‘f***marrykill’ she writes “constantly under assault from semi- automatic
thoughts coming from the internet” really highlighting her online presence, and how it makes he feel like she’s constantly under assault. In ‘Madhouse’ she writes “They gonna put me in a
madhouse, shove pills down my throat till I space out, they wanna love me, hate me, then slut
shame me” giving an insight into the fact that her presence in society feels like being in a
psychiatric hospital, having so many standards to live up to.
She continues on with songs like ‘talk to myself’ and ‘lovebomb’ that highlight her struggles with love. In ‘Talk to myself’ she states “You can be mean, make it sting pretty well but you can’t say shit I don’t say to myself.” This noting that even if someone wants to hurt her, they can’t. Because she’s already mean enough to herself. Highlighting her struggle with self love. Then in ‘lovebomb’ she writes “I promise I’ve calmed down, I’m not manic like before. So you lift the rug and I’ll sweep the glass and we can pretend like this never happened.” This highlights her struggle with loving others, and how her manic episodes get in the way of her finding love, and being able to keep it without them leaving her.
She follows up with anger in songs like ‘tired of california’ and ‘too hot to cry’ where she begins to reflect on her life in LA and her struggles; in ‘too hot to cry’ she states “I won’t let you lock me up inside cause I’m too hot to cry, got my makeup done just right, it’s a waste of mascara, it’s a waste of my time” followed by “not tonight, in a dress you call ‘too tight’ it’s the dawn of an era, say goodbye” which sounds a lot like a “love letter to society” and her hatred for beauty standards.
She finishes out the album with ‘Decay’, ‘Die first’ and ‘Lucky star’ songs written about one of
her closest friends, and the things she wishes were different. In ‘Die first’ she writes “Can’t
escape it, that’s how it works, Someone dies or someone gets hurt, but if one of us dies, I hope I die first.” which really encompasses grief, and how she deals with it after the passing of one of her closest friends.
All in all this album goes through a lot of emotions, and it tugs on the heart strings of listeners
who have been through similar situations and live through similar struggles every single day. It’s an album that will become timeless, and Nessa Barrett is an artist that will continue to make songs for people to relate to.