The second album from Will Joseph Cook is both fun and sensitive, making you feel every emotion possible within half an hour
You may be familiar with Will Joseph Cook for his catchy singles like ‘Daisy Chains’ or ‘Girls Like Me’, but the twenty-three-year-old musician has just released his second full-length album that is full of gems to get your ears glued too. Starting his career in the early 2010s, Cook has had a very successful career so far which has been full of sold-out shows, slots at big festivals and in 2018 he even started his own podcast titled Bad Hotel. This latest record, Something to Feel Good About, allows us to see a more emotional and romantic side to Cook as well as providing us with some of the most infectious indie-pop singles this year.
The album starts off bright and sparkly with one of the best songs of the whole piece, ‘Be Around Me’. From the get-go, this song instantly grabs your attention with its upbeat energy and Cook’s vocal delivery during the chorus almost appears as if he is having a conversation with someone by singing the various lines in different vocal ranges. When speaking about this single Cook has revealed “The song is about those moments when you’re teetering on the edge of falling for someone, the transition between playing it cool and showing vulnerability. I wanted it to be flirty but still have these bouts of nervous energy jumping out.” With the vast amount of fun Cook has on this song it’s no surprise that this single is already a TikTok viral hit.
‘Driverless Cars’ is another indie-pop banger which expresses Cook’s feelings of having a lack of control and no clear direction in his life – comparing himself to a driverless car. Cook has admitted that the emotions of this track were difficult for him to process, but his use of visual metaphors paired with the glimmering, positive-sounding melody help give this song a light sense of humour and masks some of its seriousness. This really is a relatable bop that makes you want to dance around and cry at the same time.
The second half of the album begins to slow down quite a lot and the tone shifts from being fun and upbeat to being sombre and sad. It is almost as if this is an album of two parts; part one being a bit brighter and happier in sound whereas part two strips everything back for Cook to be more intimate with his listeners. ‘21’ is one of these stripped back songs on the tracklist and it describes the struggles and pressures of being a young adult. Cook makes the point that despite outward appearances, most young people are still confused about their lives and searching for self-acceptance. Cook’s delivery on this song is so raw that you can genuinely feel the passion and meaning in the words he is saying – and my only critique about this song is that it just doesn’t go on for long enough.
The album closes with the very deep ‘Last Year’ which is a complete contrast to the album opener ‘Be Around You’. Cook reflects upon the past year here as he describes and recounts the hardships that he has faced in life as well as highlighting the importance of taking time to seek help and figure any hardships out. The smooth and steady melody allows us to sail away and get in touch with our sensitive side, letting us reflect on the hardships we’ve faced in our lives. Although this is not the same type of happy energy we felt at the start of our journey of Will Joseph Cook’s second full length, it gives the record a very graceful ending and is memorable for the way it makes its listeners feel.
Overall, this is certainly an enjoyable listen and is another fantastic record from Will Joseph Cook. Lyrically this album is a lot heavier than his first effort Sweet Dreamer, but there are still some danceable, indie-pop bangers on Something to Feel Good About. The stripped-back, raw moments will hit you right in the feels and show that Cook has matured as a musician over the last few years – although the second half of the album drags on a bit more than the first. This project is thought-provoking, exciting, and a step in the right direction musically. The album as a whole isn’t perfect but with a little more work Will Joseph Cook will be the next big thing in the indie-pop scene.
Something to Feel Good About is available to listen to now via Bad Hotel. Check out ‘Be Around Me’ now down below.