Review: ‘Driver’ teaches us to take the passenger seat

Stevie Knipe, pictured, is the lead singer for the band Adult Mom. (Courtesy of Stereogum)Stevie Knipe, pictured, is the lead singer for the band Adult Mom. (Courtesy of Stereogum)

Jada Hester, Correspondent

Being in the driver’s seat can be difficult — the lack of control can be dizzying and scary. On “Driver,” w​e take the passenger seat and let Adult Mom do the driving.

With Stevie Knipe on vocals, Olivia Battell on drums and Allegra Eidinger on guitar, we may even have to take the back seat so Adult Mom has room to drive us where they want us to go.

On “​Driver,” K​nipe tells us all about the aftermath of their breakup and how hard it is to pick up the pieces. Adult Mom’s indie rock vibes are strong, as are Knipe’s vocals on every track, though the singer still has a laid-back aura to them.

The most rock-like song is likely “Adam” with Eidinger’s wonderful guitar riffs, and the most melancholy song is “Regret It” in which Knipe laments over a past relationship that they can’t seem to get over.

There are many allusions, or straight up references, to driving on the album. On “Dancing,” Knipe sings, “I’m dancing to / The song I crashed my car to.” After experiencing trauma, it’s difficult to do things that might hurt you again, like listening to the same song that played when you crashed your car. 

Knipe also sings, “And the way my foot stomps down / On the brake when I feel afraid / Kinda similar to the way / I am with loving these days” on “Frost,” the final track on “Driver.” K​nipe is afraid to love again after being so hurt in their last relationship and they allude it to the same pain as getting into a car accident.

Though Knipe feels this pain, they also recall their good memories and experiences. On “Berlin,” they speak about when they met their past lover six years ago. “A stranger gave us a beer / In the hallway of the bathroom / And we drank it real slow / I was just trying to get to know you.” 

There’s always a reason for relationships to come around, and there’s always a reason that it doesn’t work out. You’ll remember some of those experiences, like sharing a beer in the bathroom, for years to come.

It’s refreshing to hear an album about something other than the current pandemic, even if it’s about heartbreak instead. However, “Driver” also teaches us about healing, and that being in control isn’t the most important thing in life. 

Life is messy, but roads are supposed to have some bumps and curves along the way. Sometimes it’s okay to take the passenger seat and let go.

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