Melanie Martinez released her second full-length studio album, “K-12” and an accompanying film of the same name. “K-12” is conceptual album comprised of 13 songs with a runtime of 46 minutes. The sounds off the album range from alt-pop and electropop, to indie pop.
The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts and is her first album release after a four-year break. The accompanying film, written and directed by Martinez, had a one-night global theatrical release on Sept. 5 and premiered on YouTube for free starting on Sept. 6.
The film follows Crybaby, a character introduced in Martinez’s 2015 debut album, “CryBaby” and her best friend Angelita as they battle evil principals and bullies. The setting of the film is a dreamlike world which resembles that of a Dr. Seuss book. The film’s soundtrack includes each song on the album, including music videos and dialogue that connects with the themes in each song.
At surface level, the track list seems simple with titles like “Class Fight” and lyrics that are more than a little on the nose. However, beneath Martinez’s breathy vocals and technopop beats, there is scathing political satire directed at societal issues such as systematic racism, transphobia, eating disorders, sexism, and several aspects of rape culture, all included within 90 minutes. The presentation of these themes is what has garnered so much attention to the film and artist.
“Something about this [album] is different,” said Kassandra Wypych, a junior at CCU. “I liked that this album told a story. I’ve never been a huge fan of hers, but I really liked this one and thought the movie was a cool concept.”
Other fans, especially female fans, identify the relevant messages in both the album and film. With songs like “Orange Juice” that explore struggles of eating disorders, viewers found it easy to identify with the characters.
“I like the songs and her voice, but I honestly love how relatable the entire thing is. It’s like the typical stuff [girls] think about,” said Zoe Stephenson, a sophomore. “I hardly ever hear songs like this, I definitely think its unique.”
“K-12” is expected to follow the success of Martinez’s platinum debut album, “Crybaby.” As for future projects and albums, Martinez already has two sequels for her sophomore album and film planned. Fans hope that the new releases will arrive before another four years pass.
To watch the film and listen to Martinez’s Q&A session, head over to the website, www.k-12thefilm.com, or search for the film”K-12” on YouTube.