Album Review: Tucker Pillsbury might be your next ROLE MODEL

ROLE+MODEL%27s+%22Our+Little+Angel%22+album+cover+featuring+Madeline%27s+Bitmoji.

Graphic by Madeline Hull

ROLE MODEL’s “Our Little Angel” album cover featuring Madeline’s Bitmoji.

The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/wz9mt

Performing under the name ROLE MODEL, Tucker Pillsbury released his newest six-single EP on October 23, 2020 under Interscope Records, who has managed more well-known names such as Lana Del Ray and Lady Gaga. 

The six song EP shares Pillsbury’s inner struggles while keeping it uplifting. Two of ROLE MODEL’s singles are in my top 10 songs of the year playlist on Spotify.

The EP was designed to be sarcastic similar to Oh, how perfect , his last EP that was released in 2019. Pillsbury wanted to jam the idea of embracing imperfections, the darker side of life and accepting yourself while also giving people someone realistic to look up to. Instead of looking up to something that is shiny, perfect and flawless, in other words a perfect little angel.

“Alive” 

My rating is 5 out of 10 stars.

“Alive”  is the opening track to ROLE MODEL’s 2020 EP our little angelIn the song Pillsbury sings about creating a more happy outlook on life.  

The song starts off with the distinctive noise of an elementary school choir balanced by an acoustic guitar. When the lyrics begin at 0:26 where Pillsbury’s dynamic voice suddenly takes over. I like the meaning behind the lyrics, but I’m not the biggest fan of the melody. 

The melody is slightly boring and plain until 1:13 where the drums pick up the pace and lead into a smooth and regular tempo. I wouldn’t say this song is dance-able but perfect for daydreaming.

Pillsbury throughout the song keeps with the same tempo and heartfelt voice except for a few occasions during the chorus when he sings, “ I might break the law. I might yell so loud I break my jaw.I might stain my shirt just take it off.” His voice becomes incredibly raw filled with so much emotion.

 It’s almost as if you can feel his vulnerability and pain though your headphones. 

This song is very creative, and the singer has an impeccable amount of talent; however, it is not his best song. I’m not a fan of how slow-paced the majority of the song is. 

“Alive” reached #40 on Geronimo 106.1 FM charts.

Tucker Pillsbury on stage at ONCE Somerville Ballroom in Massachusetts. (courtesy of Marina Pappalardo (@nothingbutpolitecompany))

For the People in the Back”

My rating is 6 out of 10 stars.

This song premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio on Apple Music before it was released on May 27th, 2020. 

This song seems to be about being comfortable in your own skin and not having to rely on anyone else. Once again, the lyrics are powerful and very relatable. The song also refers to dealing with fake friends and having other people try to use you.

With an interview with DIY Magazine, Pillsbury goes into detail after ending relationships he always felt a surge of acceptance and power. 

“There is an underlying tone of acceptance. I had a burst of confidence, which is brand new. I want to hear people scream this song back to me,” said Pillsbury.

Starting off, I despise the beginning of the song. The first thing you hear when the song starts is, “the volume can’t go any higher.” That’s a weird thing to say in general, but when the tone and pitch is added, it just doesn’t work.

Pillsbury has a very strong voice, but the beginning doesn’t do him any justice. After the opening, the song improves.

The bridge and chorus are very balanced and engaging. Pillsbury’s talented voice changes pitch countless times. Within seconds, he goes from a high pitch to low. It is very impressive, and it sounds amazing. 

“For the People in the Back”  has been played on Radio Hits 93 Toronto: Canada’s biggest Radio Station. 

“Blind” 

My rating is 8 out of 10 stars.

Out of all the songs in this album this would be at the top of my list. 

The uplifting beat combined with the heartwarming lyrics and confident vocals leads to a viral song. 

This song is about falling in love with someone through social media without talking to them first, but having the feeling that you both have a lot in common. 

Supposedly this song was written for his girlfriend, Emma Chamberlain, a YouTube icon who he met through social media. Just the fact that this song was written for someone that means a lot to him, already makes the song incredible.  

“This is the first song that I’ve written on guitar in my home,” said Pillsbury during an virtual interview with Variance Magazine.

If I could change one thing about this song, I would have made the lyrics not so repetitive.

“My friend Spencer taught me two chords, and I ended up writing the whole song to that, and then Andrew Luce brought it to life and produced it out with me,” Pillsbury also said during his interview with Variance Magazine. 

This song radiates good vibes.

Doyouseeit” 

My rating is 6 stars out of 10.

In “DoyouseeitROLE MODEL sings about constantly making up dramatic romantic scenarios between him and his significant other. 

I think we can all relate to these lyrics from one point in our life. 

I absolutely love the chorus, I would listen to it for more hours. His voice is so relaxing and peaceful while being combined with the smooth sound of drums being played softly.

The beginning of the song is weaker because there isn’t much emotion compared to the remainder of the song but his hoarse voice makes up for the slowness until the chorus. 

I’ve noticed that the beginning of each song in this album is very weak but as the song progresses it becomes stronger and much more powerful. 

“Going out”

My rating is 9 out of 10 stars.

Tucker Pillsbury performing under his stage name ROLE MODEL, singing to a sold out stadium in Portland during his Far from Perfect Tour. (Courtesy of Cj Huesos (@MUSIC))

In “going out” Pillsbury sings about being an introvert and never wanted to hangout with his friends.  

I love how relatable this song is. Sometimes we don’t want to leave our house where we are comfortable. There is nothing wrong with being a homebody. 

He also mentions his different friends and scenarios that he would encounter if he left his house. 

“But frat boys in the city gonna hate us, they impress their daddy’s with an A+” and “Homies sent the address to the strip club, Girls pay 20K just for a lift up the typa’ girl that makes the boys do sit ups.” 

I find those lines laughable. It was a random thing to add, but I think it gave the song more character than it would have without it.  The way he said those lines in the song has a different tone than the rest of the lyrics, as if he’s looking back on past memories with his friends.

He sounds happy when singing in the song. This is my favorite song on this album. I’ve had this song on repeat since it came out in October.

Better the first time”  

My rating is 6 out of 10 stars.

Pillsbury sings about reminiscing the story of a once happy relationship. Pillsbury explains through the lyrics how every time he’s in a relationship everything is good in the start until the relationship gets serious and he becomes unattached. 

Pillsbury really opens up on a deeper level to achieve greatness in this song. He has openly talked about how he struggled with drugs when he was younger and how it has inspired his music. 

“You got boys to play the part, I got drugs that I can use” as Pillsbury sings accepting life isn’t perfect and how he thinks he doesn’t deserve to be happy.

The chorus is very upbeat and lively to hide the hidden message of commitment issues and self-sabotaging. 

Even though the song has a sad tone, the song makes you feel energetic and gets you in a good mood. 

I would recommend this album and any other song written by ROLE MODEL. His music is labeled as Pop but I would have to disagree and say it’s definitely more indie. 

ROLE MODEL’s first album was released in 2017.

He has released two other albums, Arizona in the Summer and Oh, how perfect.

A six-song album released by ROLE MODEL in 2019.

ROLE MODEL has also released multiple singles including; “Minimal,” “Notice Me,” “Puerto Rican ft. Patches,” “Six Speeds,” “Girl in New York,” “Play the Part” and a cover of Miley Cryus’s popular song “The Climb.”

Pillsbury is active on Instagram, Twitter, Spotify and YouTube. He has been featured on Genius and has a collection of merchandise on his personal website

You can join Pillsbury on his Instagram every Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST for the annual “The Coffee Run with ROLE MODEL” live stream.