AJJ - People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World
Mar 22, 2020
100
"There's someone in your head waiting to FUCKING strangle you."

People that can eat people are the luckiest people in the world is an album that did take a while to really sink in. At first it felt like a fun short romp of an album with some heartfelt messages but then it slowly dawned on me what this album was, before it sunk in completely. People That Can Eat People is an album about humanity, and it does it in such a profoundly human way that it's amazing. But what makes a human album? What makes an album so relatable that it can be described as an album that feels like it was made for people, by people.

The album opens with Rejoice a song that encapsulates a lot of what this album is trying to say in one song, with the simple contrasting that these lyrics are making "Rejoice despite the fact this world will kill you" "Rejoice because you're trying your best" It's a song that feels positive while remaining depressive in its tone. Before I move on and analyse all of this deeper, I want to first of all focus on what I believe the theme of the entire album is, and what it's trying to say. A lot of this album features what I'd like to call "bipolarity" in its writing. Now to some this may be quite obvious, and it is, but it goes deeper than just what is said in the lyrics. The disorder is mentioned a couple of times in the album itself, but the entire album features this overarching feeling of bipolarity, swapping between moods fast. This is shown right from the beginning with the fast-paced song structures and short song lengths while being hinted more subtly through the lyrics and sound overall. Rejoice for example features this, through its happy-sounding instrumentation and structure while lyrically being dark and depressing at points, while still trying to remain hopeful. It not only encapsulates that sound of happy-sad but, I feel it can represent something else too, along with the rest of the album.

We all know what autism is, right? We all know that it comes in all shapes and sizes, it can be subtle or very obvious when someone has autism. Some of you reading this might be on the spectrum and not even know it! I'll be focusing on one main strand of autism in this writeup and that's Asperger's Syndrome. Some of you may not know what that is as the term is not used anymore, and it's all umbrella'd underneath Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but it's the highest functioning type of autism that you can be diagnosed with, and to most people it's barely noticeable. Now some of you may know that I, in fact have Asperger's Syndrome, and to some of you that may be quite evident with how I act, especially if you have the disorder as well, but to a lot of people I'd just come off as slightly odd (which I am anyway). Asperger's can tie into a lot of other mental issues that can occur, as small as hypersensitivity to Schizophrenia. In between all this, people can suffer from a lot of mood swings, or more commonly referred to as bipolar disorder. A lot of the themes present on this album, not just that but just the overall sound of this album, reminds me a lot of how my own brain works, and how it thinks, and how it reacts. The happy instrumentals behind these dark and violent lyrics, the bluntness and the sharpness of the lines being spoken. You may notice that a lot of the lyrics don't seem to shy from... anything, the album doesn't tend to be cryptic and is very digestible, yet it still leaves a massive impact on you, the further you listen. Songs like Bad Bad Things, while pretty straightforward, that's what makes it more effective. It's a song that delves into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. Those times we think about killing our friends or family, we've all had that thought before... right? This in fact does tie back into Asperger's as something that some people can suffer from is suicidal thoughts, or violent thoughts... and some of you may have seen me exude these thoughts, especially if you've read my past reviews.

Most cases include the latter issue, violent thoughts and in some cases violent actions, but in others, they can be violent but towards one's self. This song is a song that I assume most people can relate to, but it resonates further with people like me as I understand it a lot more. Most people know that autistic people find it difficult to grasp emotions and other people, they can get confused easily or overwhelmed and aren't good with metaphors or subtleties. This can translate into these violent thoughts as these people don't fully understand how people work and... this can even lead to schizophrenia. Autistic people believing that they're the only real person, and everyone else is either a robot, a simulation or spying on them. I'm sure some of you can relate to that feeling of being watched, imagine that sensation constantly. You'd want it to stop too, right? This can then lead into those violent outbursts mentioned prior. Now let me touch on the other one I mentioned, the suicidal thoughts that can also occur. I suffered from these personally, and still sort of do, I can describe it as a feeling of not feeling any consequence in death, you're not sad, or happy, you just wanna... try it out. This can turn into meticulous planning for your own death before eventually attempting, possibly multiple times or only once, as that can be all it takes. By far the latter topic is covered on this album and it's done in a way that makes it feel natural because it does, to us. I have experienced those feelings of paranoia "is everyone else real? Who is real?" This can lead into those thoughts of "what would happen if I punched my mother, if I stabbed my brother".

A lot of these songs also seem to deal with bigger questions, while I wouldn't call these philosophical I would call them questions that can't really be answered simply. While they range from questions about a pregnant woman being decapitated to the bigger question of people, why are people? What are people? Why can't we be happy? This leads me into the main message I feel this album is trying to give us, fuck what other people say or think, you can be happy. This is given to us on the centre points of the album: "A Song Dedicated to the Memory of Stormy the Rabbit" and "People II: The Reckoning" Both of these songs play important roles in setting up the entire album and really are the key to having this record really sit with you. It was on People II that I realised what this album truly was, and it hit me like a truck. While Stormy the Rabbit for me doesn't play the biggest part in the album, compared to People II at least, it's still important and does help in understanding this record fully. The album gives us a dark look on humanity, and how we deal with things. Focusing on the life of a homeless person and how they live, or lack thereof. This song also contradicts the closing track, "People" while the next track People II coincides with its predecessor. I'm sure I wouldn't be in the minority by saying that People II is by far my favourite track, as it encapsulates everything that this album is trying to tell us, once you think about it. Which is in fact how it clicked with me. People II deals with similar themes to Stormy the Rabbit, except it decides to be a lot more broad, and not only that but deal with the other issues I mentioned, like bipolarity and autism; while not mentioning autism verbally, it still holds up.

This is the song that really sums this whole record up, it's the key to figuring it all out, and really it's all told to us in the closing verse:
"But there's a bad man in everyone
No matter who we are
There's a rapist and a Nazi living in our tiny hearts
Child pornographers and cannibals and politicians too
There's someone in your head
Waiting to fucking strangle you"
This is what this album is about, this is what this album's message is. This is the most powerful quote from the entire record, and it really resonates with me, and a lot of others. We as humans need to be good people, we have to be good to others and ourselves as that's what we want from others, but deep down we can all be monsters, and deeper down we know that that's not who we even are. We're not monsters and that side of us sits there and waits for us to become vulnerable before it attacks. This is directly mentioned in the next track too "Personal Space Invader" in its closing lines "Be the best fucking human that you can be!" And that's it really. While there's a lot to dig into on this record, as I have done here, really, all the bottom lined message of this album is, "be a good person, and be happy" and that's quite amazing really. But how does this tie into the whole autism thing? Well let me tell you! This goes back to a lot of autistic people's misunderstandings of social norms and emotions. In a way, they see through the labels other people have put on them. A good example of this is given in the book Of Mice and Men through Lenny, while it isn't explicitly said what is wrong with him, it's a good example to give anyway as it still relates. Lenny is shown to be compassionate towards everyone, including Crooks; the black person. When the others find him with him they're uneasy, but Lenny is fine. He doesn't understand why everyone dislikes him so. The moral of the story is that you shouldn't judge people by their skin, their gender, their sexuality, you should just be the best fucking human that you can be. This is directly said in the album's closing track; "People" here we have a somewhat happy ending, in which we are told to love everyone no matter what, because that's what we would want in return. People are special and no matter who they are: black, white, gay, straight, male or female it doesn't matter. They all deserve the same respect you would want towards yourself, or deserve onto yourself.
4 Comments
Mar 22, 2020
The album leaves you on a positive note really. The question is, is this a happy or sad album? I've come to my own conclusion that, this is a happy album, while it deals with a lot of depressing topics and is as I said earlier, quite "bipolar". I do think that this is overall a happy album, its message is positive and it opens and closes on happy notes, Rejoice being a positive song; a song about staying positive through all the shit that the world throws at you, and People being a song about loving everyone around you no matter who they are. The world is a shit place, but that doesn't mean you have to be a shit person. Like I said at the beginning, this album is so incredibly human, it's an album that is important and it really hits hard once you let it. It's only 24 minutes, but it is a perfect 24 minutes.
Mar 22, 2020
Even the length of the album helps with the themes it portrays, its bipolarity being shown directly by the music itself. In how it quickly shifts between happy and sad, to the point it makes the entire album difficult to differentiate between a happy or sad listen. It could be both, and I'm sure to others it could be something sad but, as someone who relates to most if not all the topics given here. The mood swings, the bluntness, the autism. It makes me feel happy, and after all, isn't that all that really matters?
Mar 22, 2020
So I leave you with one final message. Be the best. fucking. human. that you could be :)
Mar 23, 2020
it's a happy album because it makes me happy
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