I Want To Grow Up is the third LP from LA pop-punker, Colleen Green. She’s all about simplicity. You could call her brand of guitar pop “minimalist” - but that would be way too contrived. The whole album is pretty much Green, a guitar, some bass and a drum machine – with the occasional synth thrown in. She’s a one-woman Bikini Kill/Garbage cross-breed.
Just like her previous LPs, Sock It To Me and Milo Goes to Compton (one for The Descendants fans amongst you), I Want To Grow Up is packed with songs about being in love with a Bad Boy – see the perfect surf-pop number “Wild One” -, being too lazy to hang out with people and really liking drugs. But this LP does seem different - it's like she's trying to tell us something with the title, maybe?
Green's lyrics are a 140 character pop song. They are hyper-condensed. This can make them seem lazy and tropey – but she knows what she's doing. Sock It To Me really played on her tropey-ness to create a kind of bipolar aspect to the album. “Only One” couldn't be more normy – “My Boyfriend is the best […] Oh God, I really love my boyfriend” - but “Close To You” is sullen and introspective, with menacing drum machine and synth. It's all about anxiety.
I Want to Grow Up really builds on this sense of creeping dread, fear of intimacy and general uncertainty. “Deeper Than Love” parallels “Close To You”, as the deep, dark made-on-one-synthesiser track of the album. Shit gets kind of heavy on this one – she's talking about getting her lover to kill her, because it's the nearest thing to intimacy she could ever really deal with. She's afraid of “eliminating distance” because “I'm shitty and I'm lame and I'm dumb and I'm a bore, and once you get to know me you won't love me anymore”. This alienation from the rest of the human race is a pretty major aspect of “TV” and “Pay Attention”, where she admits that television is her main emotional crutch and she can't really deal with the whole talking to actual people thing.
Green's tendency to flip between extremes is summed up pretty well in “Things That Are Bad For Me", Parts I and II. Part I is all good intentions: acting with more regard for your own well-being, ridding your body of toxicity, etc. etc.. Part II, on the other hand, is all power chords and calm declarations about wanting get “fucked up” right now. So much for all those well laid plans, huh?
Anyway, does this all sound scarily familiar to you? Thought so. This is LP for the “Girls” fans out there. It's is all about that specifically twenty-something anxiety, riffing on isolation, the complete inability to make valid life decisions and being trapped in a perpetual adolescence. And its also about how boring all of that shit is. Like Green says in the album's title track, isn't everyone a bit sick of “wondering what's gonna become of my life?” Don't we all want to grow up, sometimes?