Lisa Prank’s Adult Teen is a vibrant trapper keeper of an album. It’s a portable little sticker-adorned treasure trove of Lisa Prank’s (aka Robin Edwards) world, packed with hand-scrawled lyrics, a guitar pick or two, sketches of the Blink-182 bunny and her other favorite band logos, crumpled up frustrated journal entries, and detailed notes on the type of chemistry that isn’t taught by a science teacher. Lisa Prank’s first LP delivers a personal and endearing one-woman pop punk outpouring of emotions that should resonate with teens and post-teens alike.
There’s a certain societal pressure for twentysomethings to “grow up” and pretend like they’re never a melodramatic emotional mess, but Lisa Prank leans into her inner adult teen. Over a bed of crunchy power chords and Roland MC-505 drum machine beats (the only band member that will never break her heart), she crafts simple melodic and catchy odes to all of love’s highs, lows, and the yearnings in between.
Adult Teen's songs capture the scattered ADD thinking of a daydreamer staring wistfully out the window from the back of a high school classroom. The thematic pull can best be summarized by a single song title, “Luv is Dumb.” While almost every line is delivered in a sweet tone, there’s a constant undercurrent palpable exasperation at the fact love doesn’t work as flawlessly as ‘90s romantic comedies made it seem.
That anguish sometimes manifests itself in a fairly emo way, as it does on Adult Teen’s lone slow, sad song “Turn It Up”: “If you’re sad, you’re listening to the wrong song / And if you hear your mind, the music’s just not loud enough / Turn it up.” But the down moments don’t stop the mental fantasies of her crush saying the perfect thing instead of acting like a dummy (“Baby, Let Me Write Ur Lines”), helping her escape from her own neurosis by “distracting me from WebMD” (“Best of Everything”), or putting aside all of the drama and embracing the moment (“Why Can’t We Just Dance?”). Occasionally the irritation boils over and Lisa Prank lets loose her eye-rolling anger at the exes that keep repeating the same idiot boy mistakes (“Starting Again” and “Take It All”), but her inner optimist can’t stay suppressed for long. As “I Want to Believe” expresses, there’s always hope for a new connection to blossom without any of the exhausting complications: “Love doesn’t have to be so hard / you could just jump into my arms / I swear I’ll try to make it easy.”
Adult Teen turns the struggles of honest heart into bubbling feeling festival that’s simultaneously fun and cathartic.
Turn it up.