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Ranking of “Older” by Lizzy McAlpine

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Stonehill chapter.

Lizzy McAlpine’s third album, Older offers a mesmerizing journey through the complexities of human emotion and experience. Released on April 5th, 2024, this newest collection of songs showcases McAlpine’s remarkable talent as both a singer and songwriter. With delicate piano melodies and soul-stirring vocals, McAlpine explores themes of growth and self-discovery with raw honesty and vulnerability. From haunting ballads like “You Forced Me To” to introspective reflections on tracks like “Drunk, Running,” each song on Older is highly reflective and beautifully arranged. This album is different from McAlpine’s usual sound in the best way. She found a band and recorded most of these tracks live with them, bringing her songs to life. It sounds more authentic and invites us into the music with her, and to follow her through working through (and eventually past) this stage of her life.

This has become one of my favorite albums of all time, so ranking the songs was extremely difficult, but I gave it my best shot: 

  1. Vortex

The album was originally going to be entitled “Vortex,” until McAlpine eventually wrote “Older.” This one of my new favorite songs of all time. The melody is so beautiful and the bridge hits so hard. 

2. Drunk, Running

The first time I heard this song was at Lizzy’s show at the House of Blues in Boston for “The End of the Movie Tour” in May of 2023. She talked about how much she loved Boston and going to Berklee for the two years that she did before she dropped out due to her rising career. This is the song she had wrote during sound check and performed it perfectly that night. That experience and the beauty of the song makes it one of my favorites ever.  

3. All Falls Down

This is the first time Lizzy has used wind instruments in one of her songs, and I am here for it. This song is so relatable to anyone in their early 20s. This song is so much fun, and I am unable to resist dancing when it comes on.

4. Staying

Lizzy has dubbed this song her favorite on the album. The hook, “Hold me until someone sends me a sign,” perfectly exemplifies the thought process of staying with someone for the wrong reasons. Also, I’m addicted to the slow guitar in the longer outro of this song. 

5. Older

I love songs that have simple piano instrumental but are powerful ballads- and that’s exactly this song. This one is probably the most relatable to anyone who listens to it. Especially at this age, I am feeling the overwhelming transition into adulthood, and “Somewhere I lost all my senses/ I wish I knew what the end is” encompasses this feeling for me better than any other coming of age song has.  

6. Broken Glass

This was another unreleased song that Lizzy played at House of Blues in 2023. The song uses shards of glass as imagery for hurting someone who has hurt you. I find it really cool that she matches this imagery in her lyrics with sharp, rock alternative music. The production is very dark and overall givers listeners a haunting feeling.  

7. The Elevator

This is one of my favorite album introductions ever. I find it so interesting that the title “The Elevator” is not a lyric from the song but just the overall feeling and experience of the song. In just a minute and a half, the song sets the tone for the whole album and leaves listeners with the feeling of rising hopefulness. 

8. Come Down Soon

This is another song that perfectly describes a relatable feeling. It’s the feeling of being almost certain that the good feeling of a relationship won’t last very long, or the relationship in general won’t last very long. I love how dynamic the song is with its upbeat instrumentals paired with the lyrics “Oh, it’ll come down soon/Nothing this good ever lasts this long for me”.

9. You Forced Me To 

This song is the most unique on the album. While all the other songs were recorded and produced in the studio, this song Lizzy wrote and recorded by herself. What we hear on the album is an untouched demo from her laptop. If any of you are familiar with Lizzy’s second album “Five Seconds Flat”, this song has the same vibe as the song entitled “weird”.

10. Better Than This

To me, this song couples with “Come Down Soon” and “Staying.” It holds the same hopelessness of being a in relationship and deep down knowing that it isn’t right, but staying anyway. This song also has some of my favorite of McAlpine’s vocals. 

11. I Guess 

This was the last unreleased song that Lizzy played on her “The End of the Movie Tour” when I saw her in 2023. She explained to the audience that when she wrote this song, she intended for it to be sung by audiences when she performed live. Lizzy takes the time to teach the audience the melody of the “Oh”s in the outro of the song. This song creates quite the concert experience. Lizzy even recorded her Toronto audience on her 2023 Tour and put them in the song. 

12. Like it Tends To Do

To me, this song almost seems like a stream of consciousness even though it’s not written that way. McAlpine explores the imaginings of what would happen if you even saw your ex again, “If we were standing in the same room/ Would we be in separate corner?/ Would I actively avoid you?”. The last verse brings us to the that Lizzy no longer hopes to run into her ex, and of course that’s exactly when he shows up in her life again. This song is set to simple piano and is met with some of the prettiest vocal runs. 

13. March

Similarly to her some of her older material like “Headstones and Landmines” and “chemtrails,” in this song, McAlpine is vulnerable about struggling with grief. Her father passed away on March 13th, 2020, and ever since his passing, Lizzy has made every 13th track on her albums about him. This song is very heavy, deep, and will without a doubt make you shed a tear upon first listen. She describes trying to get a handle on her grief with lines like “And how could it take so long?/Thought I had it handled but it slipped through/Didn’t know it’d be this hard/So far away, and then it hits you.”

14. Movie Star

Lizzy wrote this song with fellow music artist, and her opener for the 2023 tour, Olivia Barton. Barton has written on of my favorite songs of all time entitled “I Don’t Sing My Songs.” McAlpine and Barton have described how a relationship can start out with the feeling of being someone’s “movie star,” but then that feeling slowly transitions into being put on a pedestal and losing sight of who you really are as an individual; therefore, you can’t “change” or “grow” as person individually. I think this song is so clever and I always love the sound of an acoustic guitar recorded live in the studio. 

Kaitlyn DaCosta

Stonehill '24

Kaitlyn DaCosta is a senior studying Secondary Education and English. She enjoys, reading, writing, singing, and watching movies with friends. Kaitlyn has aspirations to be a middle school English teacher where she can share her love for reading and writing.