Jack Carenza - July 10, 2023

Album Review: grouptherapy. “i was mature for my age, but i was still a child”

Sometimes, a body of work touches those areas of nostalgia and resonance that feel impenetrable. It reopens past wounds, emotional baggage that all people carry in some shape or form. On i was mature for my age, but i was still a child grouptherapy. confronts the dichotomy of growing up too fast while still clinging to the remnants of youthful innocence. Even the title, in all lowercase, speaks to this vulnerability—this minimization. The “I”, the self, is so undeveloped that it doesn’t even deserve to be capitalized. Striking that deep, poignant chord for listeners who have navigated similar struggles. 

Within each track, Jadagrace, SWIM, and TJOnline skillfully weave intricate details. Often offering glimpses into the harsh reality of their personal journey as child stars. Whether it’s a poignant lyric capturing a moment of profound realization or a subtle musical motif that evokes a sense of longing, the specificity in their storytelling creates a vivid and immersive listening experience. It’s through these intimate details that the album finds its power.

i was mature for my age, but i was still a child

Spanning 16 songs with a runtime of 49 minutes, i was mature for my age, but i was still a child is nothing short of a genre-bending masterpiece. Seamlessly blending elements of hip-hop, R&B, and alt/indie, grouptherapy. dip their toes into various sonic landscapes, losing no momentum along the way. 

The trio intrepidly unravels the layers of their personal struggles and triumphs. Tracks like how I’m feeling and still alive lay bare the complexities of navigating maturity while carrying the weight of childhood innocence. 

On still alive, TJOnline delves into the resilience and self-reflection required to endure even through those challenges. With lyrics like “I done made it through another year, I deserve a trophy” and “I kept my head down, I kept my hand soapy,” he emphasizes the perseverance and determination to overcome obstacles while maintaining a sense of humility. Jada’s bridge adds elements of uncertainty to the mix, expressing the fear of life and forgetting how to truly live it. “I’ve been so afraid of life, I done forgot how to live it” adds powerful humility to the overall feel. 

One of the most powerful pairings comes with Help Pt.1 & Pt. 2. Pt.1 sees grouptherapy. exploring the challenges faced to maintain a certain level of privacy and self-preservation. And the importance of finding personal coping mechanisms in the face of individual flaws and destructive behavioral patterns. Pt. 2 expresses more frustration and longing for a different outcome, questioning the nature of relationships and the potential for betrayal. TJOnline once again comes through with a truly quotable bar, spitting, “Rule number one that I learned is a problem is asking for help/when you know you can solve it yourself.” 

While grouptherapy. show time and time again that they are unafraid to confront their vulnerability. It’s the tracks they directly confront the minimization that come across as most powerful. Cuts like American Psycho and HOT! encapsulate a more defiant spirit, challenging those who have underestimated their struggles. This reclamation of power sparks a fiery determination, the fuel that has powered the group’s rebirth as musicians. 

Lightspeed ~> is another prime example of this type of energy and the determination it takes from a work ethic and commitment perspective. SWIM is particularly potent lyrically on this one, encouraging resilience and fighting back against life’s challenges. 

Through their willingness to bare their souls, grouptherapy. creates an unparalleled connection with reality. The album’s intimate vulnerability evokes a powerful sense of resonance, as the group finds solace and understanding in the trials of their youth.