The Wombats’ 2015 song “Greek Tragedy” gained new popularity through the Oliver Nelson remix on the popular video-sharing app TikTok in 2021. This renewed interest in their indie-rock sound made it a perfect time to release a new album in 2022, and that is precisely what they did. “Fix Yourself, Not the World” was released on Jan. 14.
I’ve had a hard time putting into words what I think about this album. I’ve liked a good portion of The Wombats’ music in the past. Their 2015 album “Glitterbug” is an album I come back to frequently. “Fix Yourself, Not the World” was honestly a mixed bag for me.
The album as a whole works well, but at times I could not tell when one song ended and another began. Nothing really stuck out to me as noteworthy on my first listen. Everything sounding the same made it a lackluster listening experience.
There were still some enjoyable songs; “If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You” and “People Don’t Change People, Time Does,” are two songs that did stick with me on the first listen. “Wildfire” has a chorus that I can see being screamed by an audience during a concert. When a song works, it works.
I am a firm believer that a song does not have to have a deeper meaning to be great. But this body of work felt like it was trying to convey some grand message about the world’s state of affairs. I cannot really figure out what that message was meant to be.
“Method to the Madness” is a track that starts off pretty slow and took me a while to get into. As it gets to the middle, the tension builds up until it evolves into an instrumental cacophony. If the album had more of this contrasting sound, I would have enjoyed it more.
There is no denying The Wombats are talented musicians and songwriters. I am critical of their work because I believe that they can make good music. To me, everything just sounded too crisp and clean. When the imperfection comes out in a song, it reminds me that creating something is challenging. Writing this has challenged me to think more critically about some of my favorite pieces of media. I hope that this helps me grow as a writer.
Now, this is just my opinion, and maybe one day I will come back to “Fix Yourself, Not the World” and discover I like it. Opinions, like everything else, change all the time.
I went into this expecting one thing and got something completely different. Sometimes things turn out differently than you expected. I’ll still listen to the songs I mentioned that I did like.
Ending on a sad note has never been my thing, so I’ll leave you with this. Listen to “Fix Yourself, Not the World.” It might not be my cup of tea, but maybe it’s yours.