“Sticks and stones and broken bones are in vogue.”
“Werld is Mine,” is the first song off of Raleigh Ritchie’s debut album, “You’re a Man Now, Boy,” and it is one of the most dynamic, lyrically compelling tracks off of the album. It is my personal favorite track, and it is only fitting that it’s the introductory track that sets the sonic precedent for the rest of the album. The song infuses many different genres, sounds, and messages, with the song shifting periodically as the speaker’s perspective changes throughout it. One minute it’s total R&B goodness, the next it’s an eerily quiet, synthy reflection of the inner workings of a self-important star who wants nothing less than the world. Not only is this song a solid alternative R&B jam, but it delves deep into the psyche of a celebrity’s ego, and the emotional damage that a superficial world can cause.
Ritchie (whose real name is Jacob Anderson) sites a variety of different artists as inspirations, including Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and The Smiths, and his musical eclecticism definitely shows on ‘Werld is Mine.’ The song fuses the introspection of The Smiths while still sustaining a groove-able beat of a Stevie Wonder song, but with a modern twist. The song opens with a distinctly Gatsby-esque vibe, sounding like the backing score to the sight of the infamous green light across the bay flickering on and off. The music starts off incredibly quiet, and grows louder and louder to eventually be distinguishable as a mysteriously isolated, twenties inspired sound. Then you start to hear the muffled words, “World is mine…world is mine…” which then leads to Ritchie starting the first verse with, “I wanna live forever, I wanna be your friend/ I wanna rule together, I wanna be your pet/ I wanna make some money, money, money/ I wanna waste some time/ I wanna be your buddy, but honey/ This world is mine” The Gatsby soundtrack sure lost out on this one. But then the song immediately transforms into a drum heavy R&B track with a quick, stream of consciousness expression of the empty existence of fame. The tracks speaker says he’s “never felt so alone,” and reflects to himself, “I sleep, eat culture, so why do I feel so low?” He goes back and forth between the foolhardy, fame obsessed boy, and the self aware man who is cognizant of the deterioration of his spirit as a result of living a shallow life.
Raleigh Ritchie himself commented on the song in Complex magazine, saying, “I opened the album with this, and actually opened my live shows with it on my last tour. This song takes a different tone from the rest of the album, with me talking about money, living forever, and ruling the world [laughs]. It’s about that carefree ignorance you have at a certain point where you think you can take on anything, but then you wonder why people don’t like you, and then realize it’s not sustainable.” That’s what makes the song as good as it is, for it takes down the notion that money and fame will make pain go away, when oftentimes the result of attaining those things can be destructive and existentially debilitating. Plus the juxtaposition of the tracks seriousness with the cool, addictive pop R&B sound makes the song an all-around gem in my eyes.
You can take a listen to the song here!
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