My Thoughts On Melanie Martinez's Album & Film 'K-12'


I'm on my way to go and record an episode of the Close-up Culture podcast, and what perfect time to listen to Melanie Martinez's new album K-12.

I really love her first album. It's hauntingly beautiful, there's something really magic about it. When all the drama happened, I kinda went off her. I didn't know what to do when she released new music. I don't know the truth. There are arguments for and against. There was a massive accusation. But I love her music. I don't know Melanie as a person but I know her music, and I wanted to see what Crybaby did next.

I haven't listened to any of these songs before writing this, and in true anna style, I will write my thoughts as I hear each song and then my thoughts on the album as a whole. Later I'm going to watch the album film, so I'll also leave a few notes on that! Enjoy!

K-12 film & album poster
Wheels On The Bus

I love how it's a sample of the classic rhyme with chatter that would be on the bus. Ooh it's kinda edgy and cool. OMG THESE LYRICS WHAT THE HECK. Her voice is so gorgeous, I love the melody. Omg okkkk girl Crybaby has grown up. I really like this first song, it's a great introduction as we're all driving into the album together. It sets the scene perfectly and I love how pop-y it is!

Class Fight

I love all the people talking and notes like that because it makes it feel so real. Ok so this has more edge, omg Crybaby is a lil cheeky. I thought she'd be observing the fight, but she's in the fight!!! I like the beat, it's really cool.

The Principal

This album so far has been quite edgy and cool. You can really see how Melanie and her character of Crybaby have grown up and aren't just gonna sit and take it. I love when she puts effects on her voice and this song is perfect for it. I really wonder if Melanie is basing her lyrics on real life experiences at school or her fantasy.

Show & Tell

Ooh winding up a doll or something. Ok this already sounds really different to the others. This is more scary and dark, really showcasing the horrors of the world she's creating. Crybaby is angry and these lyrics are not holding back. I like the beat. It's creepy. I'm excited to see how the film shows this song. It also looks at the world and how the media has possibly gotten in the way of Melanie and she feels like she's constantly on show which is such an awful shame.

Nurse's Office

Bless you. I like all the added sound effects. It's weird but I like it. The story of this song is really interesting. She's not happy in school so she is doing all she can to be in the nurse's office, poor Crybaby.

Drama Club

Oh damn I love the lyrics in this. It feels like such a powerful song, the beat, I just love it. Yeah, this one's going on my playlist. It's just really cool and I love that Crybaby is really standing up for herself.

Strawberry Shortcake

This song is kinda like Mrs Potato Head vibes. It's really sad how in school we hate ourselves and how we look so much. It's so sad. I really like how Melanie has addressed this, it's cute and pop-y but super hard hitting. Also how it's taught that it's the girl's fault if something bad happens, rather than the boy who may cause it. I like the sarcasm in this.

Lunchbox Friends

Ooh I love the edge of this. I just love the lyrics and the effects on the song. I really like how I'm depth Melanie has gone to explore the whole school scene, especially relationships and how we can feel so alone in school. It's true, sometimes we're only friends because we're sat together and have to deal with school. This is going on my playlist.

Orange Juice

I don't get this song. It's cool like the others but am I dumb? It's lovely and I love the pace but I'm ??? Is the person she's talking to on a diet? Is it code for drugs? What's the deal with orange juice? Hahah!


Ooh Dollhouse vibes haha! I really like this album but I feel that every song is starting to sound the same. I get it, she's not happy at school but I'm a lil bored now. I love all the instruments and how it's kinda futuristic. Also, her use of effects and sounds is fantastic. She's one of the only artists who I know creates these soundscapes for each song to give it it's own vibe which is fab.

Teachers Pet

Omg. Um. Yep. The lyrics in this are crayyyzyyy. It's really interesting that she's writing this and kinda talking about teenage fantasy and all that people think about and how older people can have a dreamy hold over younger people. I love the edge of this, but it is weird. "If I'm so special, why am I secret?" Love that!!!

High School Sweethearts

Ok this is ride or die vibes, she wants love but if she gets hurt, she's gonna hurt right back. I love these lyrics because I feel in school, girls can be seen as weak, but she's openly saying what you need to do to love her which I really admire. High school loves feel so real and deep when they're not really, but I love how she's getting deep with this, yet still staying herself and out there. "These are the requirements if you think you can be my one and only true love. You must promise to love me and damn it if you f*ck me over I will rip your f*cking face apart." MOOOOOD!!


So the last song on the album, let's go!! It's really pretty and sweet. I love this, it's super simple yet straight to the point. What she wishes she could tell her younger self. It's really nice to see how Crybaby has grown through this album. Starting school, to having no one, to taking ownership to leaving advice for her younger self and others. This is the perfect song to finish this album.

Screenshot from the film K-12

So that's K-12. After listening again, I really agree with what I wrote about Recess. This album is about growth and getting through all the school drama and being proud of yourself. I'm intrigued to see where Crybaby goes next as I love Melanie's style and her concept albums.

If you don't have time to listen to the full album or just wanna hear my faves, I recommend: The Principal, Drama Club, Lunchbox Friends, High School Sweethearts, and Recess.

Ok, so it's quite a few hours later and I've just finished watching the film of the album. How many artists get the chance to turn their album into a feature length? I loved that there was a video for each song on her previous album, so to see this full scale concept really come to life was magical, and I felt so happy that Melanie was trusted to do it.

Before I begin the review, after watching I now understand the song Orange Juice....

Orange Juice looks at bulimia and dieting and I think it's a really interesting way to look at it. It's what a lot of people in school go through. No one is happy with how they look and it affects a lot of people. It makes sense now, I think I just needed to understand the metaphor hahah! It's really nice how she approaches the song, like it's not a bad thing, we just need to see ourselves how other people see us, and listen to our friends. Loving ourselves is so important.

Ok cool, back to the review!


I really love songs that tell stories, and we know that Melanie can do that, especially after her debut album Crybaby, but after listening to this album, she really loves a concept. In fact, I think she thrives off of it. It was lovely to picture the story in my head but then actually to see it played in front of me was amazing. It was more fantasy and magic focused than I thought it would be, but I love that it continued the magic/creepy style of the Crybaby music videos to really keep us up to date with the character she has created. It was a simple story, but cool to see the sharp and sinister twists placed on it in such a bubblegum setting. I really loved it. Melanie has described it as a musical of sorts, and I liked that it followed the trackless of the album, really following the concept.

OOOh and also that ending omg crybaby album 3 yes plz!!!!!


I was intrigued to see how the music would be used in the film. Whether she'd sing bits, or it would just be in the background, but I loved how it was used. Each song really helped tell the story which was great. Even when the songs weren't playing, the dark piano music and light violin playing really added to the unsettling atmosphere of the school. I really liked how sometimes the songs were split to see the film progress, but then it would hit back in and we'd see the consquences.


We know and love Crybaby, and we saw a small bit of her mother as homage to her previous album, but I also thought it was interesting that we saw the blue boys. I like how this can be a story on its own, but it can also be a sequel to her first album and music videos. It was really interesting to meet Crybaby's friends/angels who all had the same magic touch as her, which was cool because we can often feel so alone, but often there are people similar to us. It was nice that she found her own gang in the unbearable crowd to hang with. I think it would've been nice to see better development of some of these characters, especially if they're in the next album, but I guess that it was just fine how it was.


OMG! I messaged a friend whilst watching to tell her to watch it, just for the set and costume design. It's dreamy and whimsical, and the colour palette was just perfect for the child-esque story. It was like a period drama mixed with magic and a futuristic setting. I just completely adored it, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll see some behind the scenes stuff. You can really tell how important this whole world is to Melanie. It's not just her songs and the characters, but it's absolutely everything which I live for!

Screenshot from the film K-12
Overall, I really recommend the film. You really need it to be able to explore the songs more and also have a deeper connection with Melanie to get inside her head and understand what these songs mean to her. I love how she has decided to show us, and massive shoutout to the label for letting her do it. It can be so hard when people don't understand your vision, especially with something this massive, but I think Melanie has found a good home and family of people where she's signed.

If you have time, really do appreciate the art, but if not, put the album on shuffle and really listen to the lyrics. They're utterly amazing. She's done Crybaby proud.

Enjoy these songs future anna!


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