Diet Cig’s sophomore album, “Do You Wonder About Me?” brings back the band’s rock sound with more defined lyrics and confidence. The album covers relationships at varying mental states as vocalist Alex Luciano undergoes different events such as falling in love, recovering from reconstructive surgery and having night terrors.
“Thriving” kicks the album off with emotional maturity and growth. The song is about bumping into an old, manipulative ex as vocalist Luciano asks, “Do you wonder about me? / Do you think that I’ve been losing sleep?” She’s bouncing back and forth between bragging about thriving without him to seeking some sort of approval. The song maintains a steady rhythm showing Luciano’s desire to seek validation from others to check if she’s truly changing rather than falling into old pitfalls. To prove the change to herself instead of others, she declares, “I will never hate myself the way you want me to.”
Continuing this theme of growing up and getting rid of toxic exes is “Who Are You,” where Luciano calls the ex out for unforgivable mistakes. Luciano sings, “Who are you to say ‘I’m sorry’ when / We both know you’d do it all over again.” Each moment of frustration is emphasized with the tempo increasing and the lyrics blending, sounding like one word.
No mercy is shown as Luciano grills the ex with lyrics, “Is this just self-preservation so you can / keep your reputation clean with everyone involved.” The song ends with Luciano proclaiming she’s over his empty promises and refuses to deal with them anymore.
“Night Terrors” covers nightmares, sleep paralysis and the horrors associated with both. Luciano sets the mood for her intense battle with the lyrics, “Let me tell you what it’s like / to freak out your friends and lovers.” Her sleep paralysis terrifies her since, “There’s a man at the other end of my bed and he wants my soul,” displays the stressful encounter some may have with a sleep paralysis demon. Although Luciano has matured, she sings, “It’s the only thing in my life I haven’t outgrown.”
Although the lyrics feel drowned out by the background noise, it feels appropriate that “Flash Flood” would do this as the only song with a faster tempo. A sudden rush of emotions overwhelms Luciano and has her singing, “Screaming from the rooftop / That I am worthy of love.” Throughout the song, the beat is chaotic as thoughts rush through her mind, washing over her words, and she’s desperate to make sense of her feelings.
Other topics the album addresses are waiting for the right person, long-distance relationships and recovering from surgery.
“Worth the Wait” covers Luciano's relationship-based fears. She sings, “I’m worried about what other people are thinking about me.” A slow, dreamlike tune accompanies the lyric, as Luciano thinks about the person she wants to be with who can help her sleep soundly.
“Priority Mail” describes the struggles of a long-distance relationship. Luciano has grown tired of the constant back and forth and decides to get a clear answer on the status of the relationship. The song is slow and somewhat depressing as all Luciano can do now is wait, singing, “Don’t like driving like I used to / Almost died too many times,” from driving between each other often.
The hardships of reconstructive surgery are brought to light in “Broken Body.” Luciano sings about her time being stuck inside while recovering from ACL surgery, “Can’t even walk one fucking block from my house,” and says she feels almost dead during these times. While a darker song, it shows the importance of people being able to get out and socialize with others. Otherwise, one may begin to feel lonely.
“Stare into the Sun,” “Night Terror (Reprise)” and “Makeout Interlude” aren’t worth mentioning. None of them are terrible, but there’s nothing that feels special in the songs soundwise or thematically.
“Do You Wonder About Me?” is a solid, but short album. A definite improvement from Diet Cig’s first album, the band’s confidence is more noticeable as it covers tough personal topics. The album delivers some great tunes to walk around to during a nice, sunny day and relax to as finals and the semester are wrapping up.
Contact Caleb Barbachem at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.