Photo credit: RCA / Sony Music Australia
Release Date: 03/03/2023
Label: RCA / Sony Music Australia
You know that day when your editor is like “Dale… write something, put it online” so you stroll through the new releases and nothing immediately captures your ear so you just write about the 26th anniversary of a Spice Girls song? Yeah? Me either!
So, yesterday morning I was casually strolling through Apple Music not ignoring text messages from a certain person in my life telling me to do things, and I stumbled upon an artist whom I have decided I should have been following since his emergence in 2018 (why was I not born in Australia?)
Allow me to introduce you to Ruel. (I assume its pronounced like Gruel from “Mean Girls” but without the G). He is an British-Australian singer whom is signed to RCA and Sony Music Australia. He gained popularity in September of 2017 following Elton John praising his song “Don’t Tell Me” and playing it on radio. Following this Ruel released three extended plays before launching his debut album “4th Wall”, which we are here to talk about today!
As a [INSERT AGE HERE]-ish gay male, I can say that this album says so many things I’ve wanted to and have failed to say in my [INSERT AGE HERE] years on earth. The song that did end up catching my ear when I certainly was not ignoring my editor was “I Don’t Wanna Be Like You” and from those opening lines faded in the background that say “A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight“, you pause, rewind, and say to yourself “what did he say” and then you just read the lyrics and you just know, ya know? The song feels like what could be the summer anthem of 2023, and by golly I hope it is.
The chorus of “I Don’t Wanna Be Like You” is positively amazing, and to sum it up for you it is the same six words followed by an amazingly joyous “oooh”, and who doesn’t love a good “oooh” in a chorus — because I do (in my Britney spears voice from the unreleased gem that is “Over To You Now“).
A highlight lyric from this song is: “I’m not gonna get there by holding your hand“, get where exactly, we don’t know, and we’ve strung along several words that could go before and after and we love all of them, a “I don’t wanna be like you” cover by me is coming out, probably never, but in my head I’m killing it.
From there I cannot tell you what order I listened to the tracks off of “4th Wall” because shuffle is life. Moreover, who actually likes the cohesion that an artist intends when crafting the track listings for their debut album because I don’t (again in my Britney voice, except with “don’t” instead of “do” it still works — try it).
Notable Lyrics (because it matters):
(I even put it in chronological order, or whatever)
I originally compiled this list with the intention of only including a few notable lyrics from each song, but, then I realized, I had pretty much captures a lyric from each song, so, that goes to show just how fantastic the writing truly is (or that his voice encapsulates the emotions so well).
“I can tell you I’ve changed, but that doesn’t change the fact I’m out of chances” – Go On Without Me
“I’m not gonna get there by holding your hand” – I Don’t Wanna Be Like You
“Don’t hate me we’re not in love” – Sitting In Traffic
“I tried to act like a man, but I felt like a child, seems the closer I hold you the colder it feels” – Japanese Whiskey
“Growing up is strange, when the one whos to blame is looking in the mirror” – “Growing Up Is _______?”
“Tell yourself it’s going great, on the inside it’s not working but you still can’t look away” – Set Yourself On Fire
“Look in my direction but I swear you look right through me” – Lie
“Drown myself so I don’t sink, find my peace there underneath” – Let The Grass Grow
“You make all this conflict, brought it upon yourself, is this what you wanted? I can’t even tell” – You Against Yourself
“I won’t miss the what you lied, and the games you played to get a rise” – Someone Else’s Problem
“All the words I said couldn’t stop you from leaving, what’s left to lose?” – Wish I Had You
“Cause I know the chances of us staying together is slim, the odds are against us but I’ll make the best of whatever this is” – If And/Or When
“You make it look so easy, tell me what it’s like to sleep well every night” – Must Be Nice
“Always thought we’d drown either way we’re going under, still going under, loved you till the end” – End Scene