“I kinda wish I was still a virgin / ‘Time to finally see what sex is like!’” Yes, that’s quite an eye-popping line from alternative-pop brother trio AJR. The song at hand, “Next Up Forever,” from the collective’s 2019 album, Neotheater, isn’t about sex in the least. Rather, Jack Met and company delivers a record that seeks to maintain a sense of youth – a mindset of positive anticipation and literal excitement for the future forever. So, what exactly are AJR atoning for? Well, growing older, the loss of excitement after reaching certain milestones in life (see how the virginity line fits in?), and potentially becoming washed-up or a ‘has been.’
AJR definitely capture the spirit of the millennial in their music, with “Next Up Forever” being a prime example. Those millennial insecurities that Jack Met feels are superbly illustrated prior to that virginity line on the first verse:
“I’m kinda scared to drop this album [Neotheater]
Let’s push it back another week
I wanna be next up forever
Find a way to never hit my peak.”
Essentially, he doesn’t want to become nobody. He wants to maintain relevancy, and, retain youthful anticipation, excitement, and hunger in life. AJR continues to explore this on the second verse, where Jack asserts, “But I gotta go so much bigger / So they can never shut me down.” Keep listening to “Next Up Forever,” and the significance of ‘adulting’ and growing up rear their head. After stating his reason for desiring ‘next up forever’ status is “So the best is always yet to come,” on the bridge, he admits, “I know I gotta grow up sometime / But I don’t think I’m ready yet.” After college for example, things really change, sigh.
Takeaways are abundant on “Next Up Forever.” Perhaps the biggest is a combination of understanding that growing up is inevitable, but, at the same time, you can still live life with a ‘next up forever’ mentality, even after reaching a certain age.
You can learn more about AJR here:
About The Curator - Brent Faulkner
Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky. A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles. In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype (https://themusicalhype.com). When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.