Search The Line of Best Fit
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Hyperpop star glaive goes emo-pop on i care so much i that don’t care at all

"I Care So Much I Don't Care At All"

Release date: 14 July 2023
Glaive - I Care So Much That I Don't Care At All cover
14 July 2023, 09:00 Written by Matthew Kim

The pandemic generation of teenage hyperpop stars is all grown up now – at least, some are grown up enough to be releasing major-label debuts.

Not least among them is glaive, who came up on a string of pithy Soundcloud bangers before quickly getting swooped up by Interscope Records. All while attending high school virtually. But, as normal life returned and as hyperpop’s peak craze became a semi-distant memory, glaive seemed to progressively transition away from hyperpop. And, after years of protracted EP release cycles and hype, i care so much that i don’t care at all – glaive’s debut album – fully transitions away from frenzied trap beats and toward verse-chorus-verse emo-pop.

That transition isn’t entirely out of the blue: glaive’s vocals still have the same rough edge, and he still sings about self-hatred and learning to grow up in a confusing world. But, despite solid songwriting and evocative performances, i care so much that i don’t care at all’s pivot into exaggerated emo doesn’t bode nearly as well as his past work.

The worst thing about this album is that it’s bombastic. And not in the gloriously chaotic way that hyperpop traditionally is – it’s just plain overproduced. At times, the album’s instrumentals are reminiscent of onetime collaborator Machine Gun Kelly’s recent pop-punk stint – the massive, singalong arena chorus on “17250” and the sterile guitars on “the prom” and “ive made worse mistakes” sound a lot like his aseptic brand of emo.

Even when glaive’s instrumentals feel stale, however, he is anything but. On tracks like “oh are you bipolar one or two,” glaive screams about suicide and self-hatred while sounding on the verge of a breakdown. Down to its maudlin title, similar angst permeates the album – “all i do is try my best” is a Lumineers-y folk-pop tune about the confusions of growing into adulthood, and “the car” tells of a complex, adolescent love triangle. One of glaive’s strongest qualities is his ability to express the tensions of Gen-Z existence in musical form, and he’s just as good as ever on this album. But glaive’s unique voice and lyricism clashes with the album’s borderline-corporate production much more than the homegrown sound of his EPs, and it makes many of these songs jarring, as if they’re caught between two extremes.

That isn’t true of every song: a few tunes, like the title track – a minimalist, self-reflective song built on top of a droning synth and acoustic guitar riff – feel more inspired than the rest. Even closer “2005 barbie doll,” the longest and potentially strangest song/sound collage in glaive’s discography, is weirdly compelling. But overall, glaive’s i care so much that i don’t care at all is a powerful album bogged down by a largely emotionless instrumental palette; its best moments are the ones that deviate the most from the album’s core sound. While glaive clearly still has the chops to record something great, his debut falls short of the creativity that marked his meteoric rise to fame.

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