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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Chelsea Cutler’s How To Be Human album review

Chelsea Cutler released her debut album, “How To Be Human,” on Jan. 17, 2020. With 16 tracks, it is her longest album to date, and arguably already her most successful. With 10.8 million monthly Spotify listeners, Chelsea is making her way up on the charts. For example, her song “Sad Tonight” is the lead single off the album, and has landed her on late night talk shows with Seth Meyers and various radio station interviews throughout the country. On her album release day, her picture was plastered throughout Times Square’s big screen to advertise to potential listeners. Originally, Chelsea is from Westport, CT., and she went to school in Massachusetts at Amherst College, until she subsequently dropped out to pursue her career in music.

“How To Be Human” is a story of heartache. Chelsea fell in love over the past year, something she shared online with her fans through sweet pictures and videos. Eventually, these were deleted, and a few months later “How To Be Human” was born. According to her newest tracks, she wants this person back, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes. It’s a raw, truthful album about the anxiety and depression that follow an Earth shattering breakup. It’s about looking back on old memories and reminiscing on a simpler time when they were still together and happy. Many times through the album, Chelsea says she just wants this person to “come home.” The idea of the album’s title, “How To Be Human,” is that we each fall in and out of love and get hurt as a result of it. In other words, we are human and we go through “The Human Condition,” which is the 10th song on the album. “The Human Condition” is about craving love, regardless of the pain you endured because of it. 

Don’t fool yourself into thinking this is your average, sad breakup album with slow tracks you would only hear playing in a grocery store. Many songs on the album are actually upbeat in the sound of the music itself, which forms a juxtaposition to the heart breaking lyrics, and they are very catchy. This is something Chelsea is known for, as she creates a lot of her own beats in a unique way of pitching her voice and playing it back as cut, chopped and completely different. This in itself is what sets Chelsea Cutler apart from other artists that you may hear on the radio; she helps to produce a lot of her own music and wrote many of the songs on “How To Be Human” on her own. This gives the listener a much more personal experience with the album, as Chelsea is a lyrical genius and says things the way they are.

These songs truly are personal; it’s as if you’re looking straight at someone’s diary and seeing their heartache so clearly and unfiltered. It is a beautiful piece of work, and one that took courage to release to the world. When asked what song she was most nervous to debut, Chelsea said “nj.” This is my personal favorite on the album, as it is so raw and truthful. It’s written as if she is talking to her old lover, “nj.” As Chelsea looks back at their relationship, she starts the song asking nj, “Is it over? Does it have to be over?” She tells them that she wants to call them, but she doesn’t know what she could say to change things, which is something I think almost anyone can relate to. She references conversations they’ve had, places they’ve visited and promises they made. The song ends with her questioning when nj will come home back to her, because one day when they’re older, they could be ready for each other.

If you want to listen to an album from an East Coast girl with real talent, here’s your chance. She is a relatable, young artist (22 years old!) who is chasing her dream and deserves recognition. Even if it isn’t your usual type of music, you may at least appreciate the bold, truthful lyrics, as you can’t find that often in mainstream music these days. I’ve played this album for the last week straight since it dropped, and it gets better each time. Chelsea Cutler will be performing this new album in Boston next month, Feb. 27 and 28 at the House of Blues, and each day is sold out, so see if anyone is selling their tickets, as you won’t want to miss this show!

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief