“Tell Me That It’s Over” is beautifully bittersweet

Wallows’ new album contrasts gut wrenching lyrics with an upbeat production

The Tell Me That Its Over album cover features Wallows on a roof with trees and a blue sky behind them.


The “Tell Me That It’s Over” album cover features Wallows on a roof with trees and a blue sky behind them.

Krish Dev and Aashi Venkat

B lending together golden flames of exhilaration with blue seas of sorrow and regret, “Tell Me That It’s Over” is the embodiment of bittersweet heartbreak. Released on March 25 — nearly three years after the rock band made its official debut album “Nothing Happens” — the album is a rollercoaster of emotion and displays the band’s progression with more mature lyrics while maintaining the same nostalgic and high-energy atmosphere in previous discography.

The album’s cohesiveness is one of its most attractive factors. “Hard to Believe” is a perfect opening track, strategically teasing listeners with the angsty yet sunny aura present throughout the album. And the final track, ‘‘Guitar Romantic Search Adventure,” a four minute exploration of hope and reminiscence, leaves the audience with a satisfying sense of closure as well as a sense of anticipation for what is in store for the band’s future.

The album’s powerful lyricism conveys the varying forms of heartbreak in an effective manner. This is done through tragic lines like, “Wish that things could be simple, as it used to be” in “Marvelous” and “Don’t usually cry, but looks like that’s over / I start to lose sight of myself and I wish I could shut it / Wish I could shut it off” in “I Don’t Want to Talk.” In spite of this, both songs are produced in a manner that adds an optimistic and hopeful twist to the otherwise hard-hitting lyrics, as an 80s atmosphere is created through the blend of guitar, keyboard, claps and synthetic beats.

A lyric from “Marvelous” by Wallows | Graphic by Aashi Venkat

The most disappointing part of Wallows’ “Tell Me That It’s Over” lies in how the band has seemingly overstepped the boundary between an upbeat production and sorrowful lyrics — the production undermines the albums’ maturity, decreasing the quality of the album significantly. 

Additionally, the album attempts to experiment with numerous musical elements in the short 33 minute runtime. Some such aspects in the album fall flat, such as a banjo solo in “Especially You,” which takes away from the song’s theme of uncertainty in relationships. In contrast, the bouncing chorus in “Hurts Me” and soprano backing vocals in “Permanent Price” greatly add to the tracks.  

Despite overproduced elements that cloud up the album’s quality, “Tell Me That It’s Over” is ultimately a shining second chapter in the Wallows’ musical story. Gripping dynamism and heartfelt lyricism allow Wallows to deliver a cohesive, layered album that takes the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions. The album is beautiful from start to finish — from the first, summery track to the peaceful closure of “Guitar Romantic Search Adventure.” The final track leaves the listener on a very reminiscent, warm note with the lyrics “I look forward to / A little me and you / So now I hope that you don’t tell me that it’s over,” allowing the listener to depart with both anticipation for the band’s future and a sense of closure.