Well, here we are, back at it again with the Grayson Juel music review. It’s been a while since we’ve last taken a look at Grayson’s music. It was at the beginning of The Lance when I first reviewed “Yo Girl It’s Your Birthday” and “November.” Now that I have more time, I can finally devote my time to listening to this new song. I must say—I was pleasantly surprised. I can say that based on the title and the first listen, I wasn’t very excited about this one; however, the song grew on me over the course of listening to it.
Just analyzing the lyrics in the song, there are some very interesting things that the song brings up about our modern environment. Obviously, the song is titled “Phone Screen” for plenty of reasons. The song is about how often we tend to hide behind our phone screens when talking to other people. We lie about our true thoughts about people whenever we see them doing anything. One of the lyrics that Grayson uses is, “It’s rare to find people who care.” He brings up the idea that phone screens and this online environment have made us less genuine in our lives towards each other. I think this song also does a good job of acknowledging that even if you’re on the receiving end of these “compliments,” you probably do these kinds of things too—hiding behind your phone and just pretending that everything you say is truthful when it often isn’t.
Now, the vocals are something that I really want to touch upon. It’s clear Grayson has improved quite a lot since the last time we’ve listened to him. He is hitting very high notes at the end of every other phrase in the chorus which really proves just how much effort Grayson has put into his music. Another thing he does that I really like in the song is in the final pre-chorus. The final pre-chorus acts as a sort of turning point in the song where Grayson confronts the auditor of the song. He says that the auditor of the song does all of these things on their phone as well. He sings this pre-chorus all while pulling off a high note which is the highest in the song just based on the ear. I just think it’s neat that something like that is in the song to highlight this point in the song and how it’s a sort of turning point.
Instrumentation is another thing that I’m really impressed with this time around. I mean, all things considered, it’s pretty simple. The most you can hear during the chorus is maybe just a drum backing track and a piano. At first, there was a bit of confusion when I was listening to it. Mostly just that it sounded like the exact same piano chord that he used for November, but after I got past that small confusion, I really did enjoy how the piano functioned in the song. Serving as a very solid backbone for the whole song, the piano really continues and pushes the song continuously. Plus, if you didn’t know, I’m a huge sucker for a good drum beat in any kind of song, and the drums in this song do not disappoint. I like that the instrumentation doesn’t overpower at important points in the song. Going back to the turning point in the song, I just really like that all the instrumentation ends to let that moment breathe.
Overall, the whole song really shows just how much effort Grayson continues to put into his music, and I personally cannot wait to listen to more from him. If you'd like to listen to the song yourself, you can listen to it here or find it on other streaming services