Track-by-Track Recap of Grandson’s “I Love You, I’m Trying”

Two Along Their Way: The album starts with a short intro that sets the stage for a journey into a more introspective Grandson album. Moving away from the political themes of the 2020 album “Death of an Optimist,” this intro features vocals from Grandson’s girlfriend, Wafia, and gets the listener ready for a new experience.

Eulogy: The lead single from the album, released in February, opens with attention-catching lines: “Do I exist if I don’t exist on the internet? How can I exist, the end is imminent.” The first verse discusses a doomed world, touching on police shootings, social media addiction, and climate change. Grandson exposes his vulnerability in the second verse, mentioning suicidal thoughts, a lack of positivity, and feeling like Cinderella after experiencing a brief taste of a better life. The heavy chorus emphasizes the theme of death, with Grandson singing, “If you wake up and I’m gone, I just hope you sing along to the eulogy.”

Something to Hide: Accompanied by a distorted guitar, this track explores the notion that everyone has something to hide. Grandson shares secrets of a family, presumably his own, and cleverly references being friends with the skeletons in the closet and the elephant in the room. Although the song is compelling, its 2-minute runtime feels too short, and it could benefit from further development.

Drones: The second single from the album showcases chaotic energy and unpredictable time signatures, making it one of the year’s best alternative rock tracks. Grandson describes “Drones” as a “twisting, spiraling journey through the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day when the hard truth may bury us.”

I Love You, I’m Trying: The album’s titular track alternates between hip-hop drums and an airy chorus, telling a brief story about a touring musician. Best described as “beautifully desperate,” the song closes with a wall of distorted guitars and drums.

Half My Heart: In this track, Grandson takes a break from the alt-rock sound and experiments with alternative pop. Placed in the middle of the album, “Half My Heart” offers a more familiar and “pop” sound, ending with a section reminiscent of a 100 gecs song.

When the Bomb Goes: This track successfully combines a catchy, explosive beat with rapped vocals that showcase Grandson’s hip-hop influences. The chorus of the song matches perfectly with the name of the track. The result is an energetic electronic sound, reminiscent of some of his earlier work.

Enough: The song opens with contrasting voices in a call-and-response style: “Hittin’ that wall, everything’s exhaustin’ (I don’t have a problem).” The chorus evokes a 2000s alternative rock album, enhanced with modern electronic touches.
Murderer: Inspired by narrative hip-hop songs like Eminem’s “Stan,” Grandson creates a fictional character—a one-hit wonder who loses his mind and ultimately commits suicide. The song concludes with a reflective verse, contemplating lessons that can be learned from the character.

I Will Be Here When You’re Ready: This 1-minute interlude provides a respite between two emotionally charged songs, featuring vocals from Wafia. Despite its beauty, the track leaves the listener wishing it were a full-length song.

Heather: In “Heather,” Grandson pours his emotions into a powerful song about a fan who committed suicide. The track starts by describing Heather as one of his early fans, and the heartfelt chorus speaks directly to her: “I wouldn’t be here without you, without you, without you. And now that I’m here without you, without you, the words have no meaning.” The second verse tells more of Heather’s story and reveals Grandson’s wish to save her. The song ends with a sincere outro, showing appreciation for his fans and expressing what he wishes he could have said to Heather.

Stuck Here With Me: The final track of the album kicks off with the lyrics “Step one: gotta get the **** outta bed,” and talks about making the most of our one life because we are “Stuck Here With Me.” This concluding song combines minimalist production during the verses with an upbeat, anthemic chorus, reminding listeners to seize the day and embrace the opportunities that life has to offer.

“I Love You, I’m Trying” takes listeners on a personal journey, showcasing a wide range of sounds and influences like rap, rock, and electronic music. The album maintains the energy of Grandson’s previous work while providing a fresh experience compared to his first album. Wafia’s vocal contributions are a delightful addition, enhancing the overall sound. The album shines as a solid alternative work, with its concept-driven nature and deep, introspective themes.

However, the album can sometimes feel a bit overproduced, and its short length leaves listeners wanting more. Despite these minor issues, “I Love You, I’m Trying” stands as an impressive collection of songs. After meeting and interviewing Grandson, my admiration for his music has only grown over the years. Both long-time fans and newcomers will undoubtedly find something to appreciate in this thought-provoking and emotionally rich album.


This article was created with the assistance of an AI language model, which helped streamline the writing process and enhance the content. The author maintains full responsibility for the final product and any opinions expressed within.