“I Used To Know”
* * * * 1/2
Upon listening to “I Used To Know” for the first time and not knowing anything about Andrew Campbell’s backstory, one might guess the song was written and composed by a man in his twenties or thirties who has been playing and releasing music for at least half a decade. In actuality, Campbell (best known as one-fourth of Handshake) is barely eighteen, attends high school in San Francisco, and recorded this song as part of his senior project. Upon knowing this information, one may look back at the song and see it as, indeed, the work of a student. Music theory is a major part of the song--its structure and chord qualities recall jazz more than pop and suggest Campbell has picked up a wealth of information from his music theory classes. But at the root of everything is a near-perfect pop song. Everything here fits--the moody, jazzy chords, the spooky woodwinds, the subtle banjo arpeggios, Campbell’s slightly raspy croon. It’s the right length, the right BPM, the right sound. The lyrics are intelligent but not esoteric like so much underground rock. In short, anyone could like this song--there’s nothing to hate about it, and more than enough about it to love.