“Sober Up” by AJR featuring Rivers Cuomo from their album The Click is a song about losing yourself in adulthood. The song evokes a feeling of innocence, and the lyrics describe someone searching for their young love and innocence that has been swept away by adult life.
The song starts with:
I’m not where I’m supposed to be
I hope that you’re missing me
‘Cause it makes me feel young
Last time I saw your face
Was recess in second grade
The song is introduced with the speaker lost in his surroundings. His one lifeline is remembering a person from his past because they remind him of happier times in his life. The connection between them has been distant for some time, yet he still yearns for it.
The second verse includes lines like:
I said to my bestest buds
We said that we’d keep in touch
And we did our best
The speaker begins to give more background on the situation he was in and the situation he finds himself in now. He uses “bestest buds” to describe their old friends because they were all truly close, but their communication fell through once they all went their own ways. The song then transitions over to describing the new people in his life by saying,
All my new friends
We smile at party time
But soon we forget to smile
At anything else
The new people are just “friends” because they don’t really have a genuine, heartfelt connection. The speaker tried to fill the gap of friends with new friends, but those friendships do not last. Smiles are a way to express happiness, and when smiling around people usually means that they make you happy. The speaker only smiles with his new friends during parties, so they don’t really make him happy.
Throughout the song the lines “Won’t you help me sober up?” and “And I want to feel something again” repeat multiple times. The speaker is calling out for help. He realizes that he is in a toxic lifestyle and reflects on the last time he was happy: his childhood. This song is not only a cry for help, it is a reminder to search for your own happiness and that it is okay to ask for help.
4 thoughts on “Sober Up”
Sober Up is one of my favorite songs from The Click. I agree with your interpretation on the this song as a whole. The changes we go through as we enter adulthood impact not only us but those we’re closest to. Close friends begin to drift apart and we’re stuck in this bubble where we have to make a name for ourselves by ourselves.
I really felt your analysis of this song despite never hearing it. Life is given meaning by the relationships we make, and this song clearly focuses on what happens when we stray from relationships. I will be sure to give it a listen.
I’ve always felt the same thing about the song being a realization about losing your true self. I think you’re right in that the speaker recognizes how superficial their new relationships are and how important it is to find that old sense of connection.
I feel that my song is a polar opposite to yours, the speaker had friendships in the past, and is trying to relive them over and over, stuck in the past instead of the present.