Julia Michaels is one of the world’s biggest songwriters and that’s not just a frivolous statement, that’s a fact. She’s worked with some of the industry’s biggest names and played a major part in their chart success and now she’s making a global name for herself. ‘Inner Monologue Part 2’ is the second installation from her debut album and serves as an honest collection of self reflection and realisations. Following her Grammy nomination for the vulnerable ‘Issues’, the singer-songwriter dives deeper into her truth on this diverse collection.
Opening with the romantic ’17’, she reflects on a new relationship and how she wishes things could be as simple as a relationship you had when you were seventeen years old. “So can we stay in this dream like we are 17? Making love and getting high, you and me. Where we never get angry or bitter or lonely”. The chilled out pop production with guitars and simple pop beats sets the mood for the whole collection with her focusing on her storytelling. ‘Falling For Boys’ is an immediate stand out with it’s honest delivery. Reflecting on her past relationships and her unfortunate taste in boys (not men) she gives you a strong moment of vulnerability and empowerment as she seizes her own narrative. “Cause I like guys with big lips that treat me like shit. That only want my hips when it’s convenient for them. People I can fix that leave when they’re good again. I keep falling for boys and mistaking them for men”.
The whole collection is quote-worthy as she delivers the high emotions with the pre-emptive breakup song ‘Hurt Again’, explores her hectic work schedule on ‘Work Too Much’ and confesses her body-esteem issues on the intimate ‘Body’. This song in particular is super relatable and important as she puts a spotlight on her anxieties and bares her truth.
Teaming up with her old songwriting partner Justin Tranter for ‘Priest’, they give one of the sassiest post-breakup songs that you didn’t realise you needed so badly in your life. “Oh, you broke my heart and now you want some redemption. Oh, it’s obvious that you ain’t learned your lesson. Oh, you’re owning up so you can get to Heaven. Oh but I’m not a priest, so fuck your confession”.
The collection’s closing moments ‘Fucked Up, Kinda’ and ‘Shouldn’t Have Said It’ are the weakest tracks as they don’t create the same impact that the rest of the material did. But they aren’t bad songs in particular, they are just not as strong. None of these songs hear her trying to vie for radio attention nor is it super commercial. She’s just created amazing and honest music that is going to connect with so many people.
Michaels has done an incredible job baring her truth and delivering a collection of songs that is honest, vulnerable and special.