The Music Moment: Think Later by Tate McRae

2 mins read

Grade: A-

On December 8th, Tate McRae released her newest album, Think Later. While this is only her second full album, McRae is already reinventing her musical image, making it into the mainstream after gaining popularity on TikTok. She originally became famous for her slower and more sentimental songs, but Think Later includes more high-energy anthems while still incorporating some softer ballads. Let’s go through some of the tracks that stand out. 

Skyrocketing on social media platforms like TikTok, the second track and lead single “greedy” is popular for good reason. The plucky upbeat vibe fits perfectly with the song’s message of empowerment. With lyrics like, “I would want myself,” and, “I see you eyeing me down, but you’ll never know much past my name,” there’s no doubt that McRae’s sophomore album is all about self-confidence. 

The sixth track, “stay done”, employs beautiful background vibrato guitar that evokes a strong feeling of nostalgia. The guitar stands out the most with wavy melodies that support McRae’s wide vocal range. If you are a fan of Olivia Rodrigo, this song is perfect for you, as its overall feeling is reminiscent of Rodrigo’s debut album Sour. McRae explores the complexities of ending a significant relationship, singing lyrics like, “Yeah I know we should break up, but I just can’t stay done with you,” and, “We’re best friends and enemies…We’re good til you’re dead to me,” that show the many complexities that come with modern dating. 

Another popular single, “exes” is a slight deviation from the rest of the album. However, it is similar to her other single “greedy”, as they both are power ballads that praise self-respect and knowing one’s worth. McRae also proves her versatility by displaying her rapping skills. Also trending on social media, “exes” is a great break-up anthem to scream along to in the car or to take to the dance floor.

The ninth track, “calgary”, definitely stands out from the rest of the album. While it not only diverges from the lively theme, it also shifts to a more self-reflective message. While rest of the album focuses on her relationships with others and their opinions of her, “calgary” offers McRae’s internal reflection, as she sings, “I thought that I was getting better…No, I got better at pretending,” and, “The best of me right now is looking a lot like a mess.” Despite being a bit more melancholy, the song still holds its own in the album and is a nice breather from the rest of the more energetic songs. 

As the title track, “think later” is the album’s star, and McRae pulled out all the stops for the song. The overall feel of this song is similar to reputation-era Taylor Swift’s music and Sam Smith’s 2022 chart-topper “Unholy,” with uniquely aggressive production and enthusiastic vocals not seen anywhere else on the project. McRae’s spicy lyrics embody the song’s motto: “Live now, think later,” an ode to the “YOLO” style of living. 

The closing track is the perfect way to end the album. Echoes of acoustic guitar combined with angelic vocals all elicit a feeling of wistfulness and yearning for past memories. While the choice of plastic palm trees for the title and subject of the song feel quite random, the song is still enjoyable. “plastic palm trees” is a beautiful conclusion to McRae’s sophomore album.

Riona is a senior and in her first year of journalism. She enjoys drawing and photography, and hopes to take on a more artistic role in journalism this year.

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