Young love never gets easier
Best known for her role as Beth Greene in AMC’s The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney is putting her thespian roots to the side if only for a moment to start exploring the world of singing once again. In her fourth studio album, Oh, Jonathan, Kinney is every woman who has ever been in a relationship that ended sooner than anticipated. The 33-year-old reflects on her romance in the city where all she truly saw was “Jonathan,” the vision of the one who broke her heart.
The nine-track album is a complete love story from start to finish. Each song combines a perfect blend of clashing instruments and soulful vocals that carry the listener back to memories of lost relationships from years past. Kinney’s voice is so calming and reassuring that even your most upsetting memories start to feel as if they might have just been a bad dream. Tracks like “Same Mistakes” and “Mermaid Song” combine the true essence of indie pop and cheery beats with heart-breaking lyrics and true feelings. “Jonathan” is a beautiful acoustic, folksy track that showcases Kinney’s unique take on making a lovely sound into a classic sing-a-long song. “Loser” is a great example of a comeback song with an easy-going slow but steady beat. The song is not showy in the slightest but is a great “burn” song against that one person who did you wrong. Kinney makes sly remarks towards the one she lost without being over the top.
The album comes to a close with the track “Boy Band Hero.” What seems to be a final goodbye to the one who she had the highest hopes for, Kinney realizes that what she wanted all along ended up being a daydream, “Maybe I just wanted love so badly / I drew up to look like you.” She comes to terms with her summer love in the chorus of the song, “Hollywood heat fillin’ my sky / With that boy band hero from junior high / Grass stained jeans, my head in the clouds / Beside the red flag fires and drink-filled doubts / Oh-oh-oh I’m sendin’ up a prayer/ Oh-oh-oh a little goodbye cry / For that boy band hero from junior high.”
Though still young and sowing her wild oats, Kinney has dealt with heartbreak just like the rest of us. Though it seems to never get easier, she expresses her maturity and experience into an album of lessons for fans and listeners to reminisce on for years to come. Her ode to love in Oh, Jonathan is an anthem for women of all ages to understand that love is nothing to be afraid of. Instead, it should be an incredible experience to be embraced. Whether it’s on stage, on TV or in our speakers, Kinney continues to be as true to herself as possible.