K-12 Album Review


K-12 came out on September 6th with the full album and movie. Even a month after release, it’s still a great listen throughout, so let’s go through each song and its content to see what makes this album so amazing.

“Wheels on the Bus” – The album (and movie) starts with “Wheels on the Bus,” relating to the chaos that ensues during the drive on a school bus. The subtle tune of the original “Wheels on the Bus” song added to the creepy melody creates a weird but genuinely satisfying listen. The lyrics are relatable but somewhat exaggerated to match the quirkiness of Melanie and her style. Overall, it is a great song. 9/10

“Class Fight”- This song is about Melanie fighting with Kelly, a character in the movie and in a crafty way creates a complete story of the events on how the fight between them starts and ends. The beat is simple, and the chorus feels a little empty despite my liking of the creepy line “Class fight,” which is said in a whisper. The use of a bell, like the class bell in relation to the bell of boxing ring bell is just very clever. However, the song is quite short for my liking, and the chorus could have delivered a more excitement. 8/10

“The Principal”- One of my favorites in the album, this song rants about the principal’s uncaring attitude towards his students. Funny enough, the song relates more to our current president, Donald Trump, and even Melanie herself says that the song is about him. I have a love for double meanings in songs, and this one hits on the nose for me. I mean the lyrics are too real: “Yeah your action hurt so do your words” is best way I would describe Trump. This tune is quite my style as its depressing lyrics don’t match completely with the more upbeat tune (as upbeat as Melanie can get), which gives different emotions every time I listen to it. 10/10

“Show and Tell”- This song is a lot more intimate in its lyrics as the song talks about Melanie’s discomfort with celebrity life and about how her fans treat her. It’s almost a cry for help; Melanie is asking for respect from her fans, to be treated like a human being and not doll. In fact, in the movie this scene shows Melanie as a puppet on strings, forced to dance for her classmates. This relates to Melanie being forced to perform for her fans despite how she might feel. This really hits my feeling as a fan. A deep song fans should consider with the creepy melody makes a great track. 8/10

“Nurse’s Office”- When the trailer dropped for K-12, this song was playing, and I was addicted to it. The deep beat in the background with all the sound effects of band aids ripping, sneezing, and drinking medicine are just such a nice touch. The song gives a sad tone as the lyrics talk about Melanie faking illness to go to the nurse’s office rather than go through mistreatment in her class. The scary undertone in last bridge with Melanie laughing to crying is just Melanie being Melanie, and I love it. 10/10

“Drama Club”- This song’s message is a bit complex as it’s a bit harder to analyze what exactly Melanie is trying to say. However, I interpret her song as a criticism of society’s expectation to expect certain standards of everyone. This idea is a heavy topic that I personally love. As for the song itself, I think it’s a bit repetitive with the “I’ve never signed up for your drama club,” but it doesn’t stop my love for it. I particularly appreciate the bridge with the distorted melody. I love the emotion that Melanie puts in this song. The best part though for me was the end where the other kids in the class (in the movie) sing the

repetitive line all together; it gives this empowering feeling that we overcome the standards we feel bombarded with. 10/10

“Strawberry Shortcake”- As a girl, this song really hits home. There are a few messages in this one, but the main one is about the many expectations girls have when it comes to their bodies. Not only is this song about body insecurity, but sexual harassment as well. The song itself isn’t as catchy as the others, but it’s a powerful one for many, especially women. The little jab at school clothing policy when it comes to girls was very clever and relatable. 8/10

“Lunchbox Friends”- I really wish that this song was longer as it’s one of my favorites. Not even for the message but for its upbeat sound. Though the song is about Melanie wanting friends that aren’t temporary, fake, and might I add basic. The distorted low voice might not catch everyone’s ears, but I think it makes it more unique. It’s got a groovy tune to it. I just love that many of these songs are chill but also a bit upbeat. It’s one of my favorite songs from Melanie. 10/10

“Orange Juice”- This is another song about body positivity, focusing on girls who try desperately to look skinny. “Your body is imperfectly perfect.” While the message is beautiful, this song doesn’t stick to me as well as the others. Maybe it’s because every time I listen to it, the image of a girl’s head being cut open with orange juice coming out of her mouth turns me off. (Thanks Melanie, I totally needed to see that in my lifetime). The chorus does the same thing as “Lunchbox Friends,” where Melanie’s voice is altered lower, but because the song is slower and sadder it just doesn’t work as well for me. It’s a good song with a powerful message but not as fun as the others. 7.5/10

“Detention”- Many consider this song the best one of the album, and honestly I kind of agree. This one just hits a certain way. It’s about the pains of being in detention; however, the underlying message is about Melanie having to perform for her manager without regard of her feelings. Some of these lyrics are quite somber: “The Teachers don’t care about me.” What makes the song so good is just how chill and sexy the vibe is; it makes you think about the underlying message a lot more. The choreography for this song is also alluring to watch. It’s just one of the songs that makes you want to dance. 10/10

“Teacher Pet”- Debatably the darkest sounding song, “Teacher’s Pet” is about a sexual relationship between a minor and her teacher. Yeah… this song for me isn’t that good compared to others as it’s not as catchy or memorable. Even the darker tones can’t save it. The lyrics, however, are well done, describing how a minor could be manipulated in these situations. I will say one thing; the maniacal laugh in the song is awesome. 7/10

“High School Sweethearts”- When I heard a snippet, I was sure I wasn’t going to like this song, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. The song starts with a ballad (not a huge fan of those), but it picks up to a more elegant beat. I love how the song sounds more upbeat and elegant, but the lyrics get harsh which might be the whole point. The song is just Melanie listing “requirements” to her someone who wants to be with her and warning them of the consequences if they mess up. It feels more cheeky but relatable when it comes to trivial high school relationships. The whole beginning grew on me with the dramatic ballad as a starting point. It makes the whole song more cinematic, especially when you see the scene in the movie. It’s a well-done song. 10/10

“Recess”- The last song of the album didn’t end with a bang but with a quite, impressing note. It has a lullaby like tune to it, and Melanie’s voice in the song really shines. Another song that is more elegant,

but the chorus drops a good beat to it. I love this song’s message, saying it’s okay to take mental breaks. The harp notes really add to the dreamy sound. This song is more underrated within the fandom. I have no idea why. It’s just a beautiful song. 10/10

Overall, Melanie’s album really blew me away, with her relatable and deep messages, and iconic pieces. I can honestly state this is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.