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Ranking Every Song on Lizzy McAlpine’s Dreamy New Album “Older”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

If you’re not a Lizzy fan or don’t know who she is by now, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon.  McAlpine’s third studio album, Older, was just released on April 5, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Although it might not be as show-stopping as her last album five seconds flat or as gripping as her hit song “ceilings,” this beautiful album offers a mellow, contemplative and playful set of songs that take us through the motions of what it means to grow as a person in various facets of life — a powerful message that everyone can relate to. This album took McAlpine over two years to create, and it’s undoubtedly a strong release. I have an unhealthy obsession with her past albums, so it takes a wonderful piece of art for me to say that this album in its entirety might be overall her best and most raw work yet.

I really struggled ranking these songs because, quite frankly, there’s not a single one I wanted to skip or disliked. Alas, after a week of listening to this album nonstop, I offer you my personal, tentative ranking (but more of a love letter) for Lizzy’s raw and beautiful Older. However, I want to reiterate that genuinely every single one of these songs are stunning — please listen to the whole album! 


According to Lizzy, this song was meant to be the title of the album to kickstart more classic breakup tracks, but ended up becoming the last — and you know the saying: “Vortex” is a breakup song and so much more. This song is absolutely gorgeous; the instrumentals in the background, specifically the piano coupled with Lizzy’s perfect voice, make me feel like I’m ascending. The build to the bridge is heartbreaking and so well done, and her emotion in the bridge and the overwhelming end remind me of some of her past works. The lyrics hit so hard too, because we all spin out of vortex sometimes. This song is 6 minutes of a poetic, sensual experience. 11/10. 


Released initially as a single, this song had me hooked from the start. This song is a classic Lizzy McAlpine song — it’s slow, echoey, and personal. Listening to it sounds like she’s singing right in front of me. As one of the most viral hits off of her album, it’s clear I don’t stand alone. The lyrics are gripping and so heart-wrenching (this is the origin for the “Mom’s getting older, I’m wanting it back” TikToks that break me). As a college student at the peak of getting older and reflecting back on my life, this song hits home especially hard. I might be biased because I know the lyrics by heart already, but still, this song is perfect.

All falls down

This song has a funky and groovy tune, and I am so here for it right now. It’s upbeat and lively, unlike many of her other songs that are more like melancholic ballads, offering a happy break from the slower tracks despite the lyrics still being quite the downer. I’m surprised that this song ended up being one of my favorites, but “All Falls Down” caught me with its whimsical and goofy melody. If you’re not so into the quiet and slow songs, give this one a try.

Like it tends to do

A wild contrast from “All Falls Down,” “Like It Tends To Do” is incredibly depressing — exactly how I like it! This song might not be the favorite for many, but it’s easily in my personal top five. The reason I fell in love with Lizzy’s work is for songs like these — emotional, visceral, and still so strongly reliant on the lyrics. Take for example, “I can’t tell if it felt like we had nothing to lose / Or if everything had changed / Like it tends to do.” You can’t tell but I’m currently sobbing. Incredible song for the emotional girlies! 

Drunk, Running

The imagery, voice, and echoes in this song are simply *chef’s kiss*. The lyrics are personal and heavy, following Lizzy’s guilt from having a partner who struggled with alcoholism that she stayed with despite their issues. The lyrics describing her emotions are particularly impactful, and I urge you to listen to the song to experience them. This song is truly angelic — it’s my newest obsession and might just rise in the rankings. 

Broken glass

This song gives me chills. The rise and fall of “Broken Glass” is striking and stunning, completely catching me by surprise when I first listened to it. The song jumps immediately into Lizzy singing and takes you with her the entire time through a tumultuous story. It might be unfair that this song is even this low in the rankings considering how much I love it. It’s somewhat haunting, violent at times, and I’m obsessed. This song is definitely underrated. 

I guess

I guess this is an amazing track or whatever. This song is quiet and melodic, yet has so much going on in the background with a host of strings, drums, horns, guitar, piano, and more that make “I Guess” turn from a simple track to an incredibly powerful and moving one. As a reflection of her relationships, including with her father, as well her struggles with mental health, this song subtly addresses a host of serious topics while remaining bright and cheery. I can’t get enough of this one.

Come down soon

This song is SO fun and cute. It’s lighter than the rest and offers a glimpse into a growing romance, incorporating some adorable dialogue and storytelling that makes me yearn for the feeling Lizzy is so passionately singing about. I think this song rightfully deserves popularity because I can’t imagine someone not liking its vibrant beat and little romantic story. Adding this to my happy playlists right now.

better than this

“Better Than This” is brutally honest — something I love about Lizzy McAlpine. This song is so intimate, and reminds me of some of her older works. It’s basically just us, Lizzy, and the guitar. The lyrics are so raw and real. She questions whether she is a good person, and whether someone else could love herself and her partner better. The more I listen to this song the more I revel in its beauty. Definitely listen to this if you’re a longtime McAlpine stan.


Once I listen to this song more, I have a feeling I’ll have it on repeat for a while. This one is so similar to “Better Than This” in that it’s genuine, raw, and simply beautifully written. This song is about her father, and her searching for answers after his passing. With such a personal subject, Lizzy’s powerful voice and pure emotion is poured into this song, and you can certainly feel her grief. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon this becomes one of my favorites off the album.


I haven’t listened to this song enough but I am certain that it’s going to grow on me really quick. While only being a short 2 minutes, this song is already a gorgeous piece of music. It’s on the quieter side and feels so delicate and gentle, almost like a lullaby. Lizzy’s simply lovely voice shines so well in this piece too. I’m definitely listening to this song before going to sleep tonight. 

you forced me to

This song is unique and definitely stands out from the crowd, yet is undoubtedly still classic Lizzy McAlpine. It’s unique because the tune of the piano in the background is a bit eerie and amusement-park-ride-like, and the short melody is repeated throughout the song. Following her guilt and hatred in a toxic relationship, the lyrics match the melody flawlessly and seriously makes me feel the undertones of the song. “You Forced Me To” is a fantastic song, I just love the others more right now.

The Elevator 

This song is short, sweet, and strong. It is certainly the perfect opening track of Older, teasing us with a quiet intro and ending in a spectacular instrumental finish. This song would be ranked higher for me except that it’s only 1:30 minutes long, and I think the longer and more developed songs deserve a bit more credit. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful track that sets up the rest of the album spectacularly.

Movie Star

This is yet another short song that I wish could last longer. “Movie Star” is fit with a pretty melody, guitar strums and a special storyline about feeling famous for someone. At nearly the same length as “The Elevator,” I’m left looking for more with this song despite it being exceptionally well crafted. I enjoy the lyrics but I also feel as though the other songs have much stronger lyricism, which is the only reason why “Movie Star” lands at the bottom for me.   

Well, there you have it. I’m sure after this ranking, you’ve added Older to your queue. Happy (or sad) listening!

Maile Smith is a first-year Global Studies major from Palo Alto, California. She loves horseback riding, traveling the world, painting, reading on the beach, and her dogs!