“Happy Worried Boy” is the fourth song on the album “Journal Entries” by Ali Suhail, a 26-year-old living in Karachi, creating music since the past decade.
This is his second attempt at drawing out the genius from his brain and showcasing it for the world to hear. The first attempt being his album “Words from Boxes”.
Ali taught himself how to produce and mix music three years ago, and both albums were made on a beat up PC in his bedroom.
In comparison to his previous LP, “Journal Entries” shows more of Ali’s deeper side with themes revolving around psychosis and acceptance of self.
The album is meant to be a sequel of sorts to the first one, which was looking at issues at a more macro level. One way of looking at it is: you go through different boxes and understand what they hold on surface level. Then you pick out the things that interest you and zoom in for a more micro inspection. “Journal Entries” is that micro inspection of the earlier mentioned themes.
“It’s just me trying to understand and accept myself for whatever I am,” explained Ali.
Coming back to the song, “Happy Worried Boy” starts off with a calming, cheerful riff on ukulele which resonates with the “happy” part of the song. It later changes into a distorted guitar, which brings out the “worried” part.
Solid rhythms from the drums and bass just add to the depth of the themes in this particular song and the album as a whole, and the vocal harmonies truly help in bringing out the meaning of what is being felt in Ali’s lyrics.
Conceptually, the song is about a boy who constantly makes theories in his head which he keeps disproving and learns from them. But really, he’s just stuck in a cycle where the same mistakes are repeated, despite learning from them because that’s just how his brain works. My favourite part of the lyrics:
“And you can’t quantize, All these feelings that arise, Compressions of the human heart, The contrasts of a pie chart, why would you even try?”