Review: if i could make it go quiet- Girl in Red

If I Could Make It Go Quiet

This would’ve been the month that Girl in Red would come to the Netherlands to give a concert in TivoliVredenburg, in honor of her album if i could make it go quiet. The concert is postponed till May, but we can still listen to the album that came out last April. It’s an album that made the whole lesbian community go quiet (and a lot of people outside of that).

Before we dive into all the songs, I would like to explain a little about Girl in Red. She is an icon widely known in the LGBTQ+ community. There is a thing (yes, I’m about to expose some of the secret language used within the LGBTQ+ community) where people ask others “do you listen to girl in red?”, which means “are you gay?”, or more specifically “are you a lesbian?”. This can only be asked by other members of the LGBTQ+ community of course, because it’s also a sign that you show interest in the person you ask. Otherwise you can just ask if they’re gay. I have no idea why Girl in Red is used for this question, because there are a lot of other queer musicians. But I do know that her music is very specific.

This album contains 11 songs that I would describe as “lesbian moods”. A few of the numbers are applicable to a bigger audience (and all of them are bops), but all together it’s one big lesbian mood. The album opens with “Serotonin”, a song about feeling bad in general. Although it’s highly relatable to probably the entire world, Girl in Red dives a little deeper into specific parts of feeling bad that may not be known to everyone. She sings about intrusive thoughts, something that is impetuous, but important to hear about. The song ends in Norwegian, which probably is a representation of the voice in her own mind. This part is not even really understandable in the song, so I would describe it as indistinctive brain noises.

The second song is “Did you come?”, which is not actually about sex, although it can be seen as a sneer to straight men (you can fill in why yourself). The song is about two things, cheating and jealousy. I would go for the cheating, and then jealousy because of this. It’s a different kind of getting hurt when someone cheats on you of course, and that’s captured by this song. It’s not especially a lesbian mood, but it shows specific feelings, which are part of every song in this album. Remarkable is also the little parts of melody that are the same as in Serotonin, creating unity.

This song is followed by “Body and Mind”, which is simply about how hard it is to realize to give yourself a break, especially that this requires attention to more than just your body. It’s just a song for some great advice that honestly everyone needs in life. I would expect this song to be just really chill, but that’s not Girl in Reds style. The music has a certain flow that keeps you on your toes, which is something special by these lyrics.

The fourth song is called ”hornylovesickness”, a song about missing someone you love. First this song made me think of the stereotypical long distance relationships queer people often really seem to have, but when the song is about halfway you realize this song is about a broken relationship. The song contemplates how much it hurts to have to miss someone in whatever way, something that needs to be heard.

After this comes “Midnight love”. I don’t want to call favorites in this album, but I also kinda do, so this is my absolute favorite. This song chases after so many relatable feelings that I am sure everyone has felt them. Yet nobody talks about it, because we are told not to feel like this. It is about jealousy, not feeling good enough and yet choosing for yourself. It goes against all the ‘jealousy is bad’ and ‘you’re perfect as you are, don’t compare yourself to others’. While both of these things aren’t entirely wrong, sometimes you just cannot help yourself. It is okay to feel this. “Midnight love” covers this all in a relatable situation where I think:  “Yes I would’ve thought exactly the same as Girl in Red is singing right here.” There is another reason why this song is my favorite, because the music feels like it’s night. For me that means staying up late until I hear nothing anymore. I feel like it’s just me in this world. No stress, no people wanting things from me, maybe one friend I have a conversation with at that time, but only if I feel like it, and the nice smell of the night air outside. The lyrics are a complete contrast to this.

The next song is “You Stupid Bitch”. A song that states how frustration feels when someone doesn’t listen to you, but you love them and you want them to love you back the same way you love them but they seem blind to your love. That was a long sentence with a lot of but’s, which is exactly the way this song feels.

After this we have “Rue”, and this connects with so many things I have seen people go through in the LGBTQ+ community. It’s sad to say that many people within the community have mental issues. Often their partners try to help them, but this is hard on them as well. It hurts all sides. In this song Girl in Red sings about how this can break relationships and how this can cause regret in how much you can be asking for someone. Also something that doesn’t get talked about enough.

This song is followed by “Apartment 402”. This is about fears and frankly sensory issues. The connection between neurodiversity and the LGBTQ+ community is a whole different aspect and while it’s very interesting, I don’t want to dive too deep into that. A little before this album came out, Girl in Red revealed she has OCD. This song touches that with what seems to be pure thoughts that connect with that.

The ninth song is “.”. The song is again about an ended relationship. The partner is already in the next relationship, which again causes jealousy. The title doesn’t just suggest the ending that the lyrics talk about, but also the feelings that just seem statements in this song: things that cannot be changed. The song is a short check-in, but not the easy and common ‘how are you doing? I’m fine thanks’, but with an honest reply.

The last song is called “I’ll call you mine”, a song about things that weren’t covered previously in this album. It’s a happy note, about hopes for the future. The things that are happening seem to be happy for once and Girl in Red pretty much sings that she wants to keep that going. It’s also filled with anxieties and insecurities, an important thing to talk about and also a relevant feeling.

The last number in this album is “it would feel like this”. This isn’t a song, because there are no lyrics. It’s just some instruments playing. Not even something I would call a melody, just a moment of rest in the album, which is an answer to the title of this album. “if i could make it go quiet” is the title, and with “it” Girl in Red means her ongoing mind and racing thoughts. Well this piece in the album is how that would feel like, while the title of the piece implicates that that never happens.

This album doesn’t really have a story, but all of the songs are about things that people don’t talk about a lot, so it does have a theme. Things that also are important to talk about, just to let people know that they’re not alone in their own minds, that some people do feel similar feelings. Girl in Red took a chance to sing about feelings that people don’t talk enough about  and pull these things out of the shadows. Frankly it’s working very well. The songs are nice to listen to: not too heavy and yet so important. I would certainly recommend taking some time to listen to this masterpiece.