Music News and Interviews

Wallows “Pleaser” Song Review

“Pleaser” is not a new song, nor is it underground. 

Yet, there is something so perfect about this song that has resonated with me ever since I first heard it. 

This song was one that marked Wallows’ debut and made the band who they are today. Who would have thought back in 2017 that their debut single would be such a revolutionary moment for them in the years to follow? 

The track is relatable in its entirety. About a guy who always finds himself biting his tongue and avoiding saying what’s on his mind to make sure other people are happy. Might sound familiar to those of us that are people-pleasers. 

The upbeat percussion and the head-bopping chords of the electric guitar bring the whole piece together. It’s a simple song on its own with no embellishments with the drumming, guitar, or vocals, yet the way these instruments harmonize with one another creates a satisfying tune. 

What makes this song scratch my brain is the slow intro that goes from talk-singing into full-fledged singing along with the drums and chord progression. It’s that unexpected increase in tempo that adds the cherry on top.

Not only are the instrumentals satisfying, but the lyrics are also quite impactful as well.

The lines that I love the most are from an early verse and then the chorus. The second verse of the song is where the tempo picks up and immediately gets you to start jamming along to the music. With the lines “Does it come as a surprise? | Language of averted eyes | Silence is what I do best | Still, I hear it all |  Wasting time around my head | So I talk to myself instead” 

The impact of the lines is just inexplicable. That feeling of that awkward interaction where you’d rather hold your breath and keep your opinions to yourself only to later regret it and let it rack your brain.

Out of the entire song, the one line that I always come back to is “Quite the people pleaser | If only I could please her”

Something about the lyricism of that line is truly genius to me. Being a people pleaser, albeit not knowing how to please the one person you really want to make happy.  

Another Easter egg of sorts I like is the line “I don’t want to talk to you right now”. Although the song, “I Don’t Want to Talk” from their latest album wasn’t written till 5 years after “Pleaser”, I like to think that there is some connection between that line in “Pleaser” and the title track of their sophomore album.

People-pleaser or not, this song is one that is guaranteed to tickle the brains of you all that like listening to indie rock. 

It’s a classic that captures such deep realities in a catchy melody. 

Check out the lyric video which is supposedly directed by Wallows themselves on an iPhone 7, how archaic. 

By Mitali Joshi

A Senior at NCSU who is an enthusiastic consumer of music and loves writing about it.