AJR: “The DJ Is Crying For Help” (First Reactions)

Pop group AJR has finally released their highly anticipated single, “The DJ Is Crying For Help” after months of teasing! It’s slated to appear on their forthcoming fifth studio album along with the previously released track, “I Won’t.” Here are my first reactions to the tune, the accompanying music video, theories about the song’s meaning, and other anecdotes. Enjoy!

Philip's Music Corner Presents: AJR's "The DJ Is Crying For Help" (First Reactions) | November 18, 2022
Released 11.18.22 via Mercury Records

“The DJ Is Crying For Help” by AJR

Lyrics: https://genius.com/Ajr-the-dj-is-crying-for-help-lyrics
AJR: “The DJ Is Crying For Help”

All M/V reactions are in italics.

0:05 💭 – Hmmm, is this a piano inside a mall? Jack enters the scene and sits down. He’s wearing a nice business casual fit.

0:06 🥺 – Six seconds in and it’s beautiful already!! I’m intrigued by the background vocal layers here and I’m eager to hear Ryan’s production breakdown of this song.

*UPDATE: Here’s the production breakdown of the song plus “Joe.”*

0:15 🧑🧑🧑🧑🧑- Whoa, clone Jack! Haven’t seen that since the “Way Less Sad” M/V!

0:16 🙃 – You ever feel like people who championed you in the past are no longer doing so these days?!? You feel like you’re living in some alternate dimension now. Your world and perception of the world have turned upside down sadly!

0:29 🎨🧥 – Hey! Jack and now Ryan in this scene have splattered paint on their clothes! What does it mean?

0:33 🗡️💙 – Oof right in the self-esteem! Those who are unemployed right now (short and long-term) will relate to this part heavily! Job rejections are not fun to receive!

0:35 ‼️‼️ – Hey! It’s one of the teased parts right here! Now we finally get to see how it all flows.

0:46 😐 – Adam enters the picture looking pensive. Deep in thought on a cloudy day.

0:47 😮 – Oooh, that just gave me chills with the “da-da-da-da-da’s” in the background.

0:55 😎 – The “da-da-da-da-da’s” match the cloning effect going on here!

1:00 💯 – Head bopping like Jack and Ryan when they teased this part. I just feel like running in a wide-open field or hill right now!

1:05 📷 – Once again Adam runs towards the camera, similar to “Way Less Sad” @ 2:00, to introduce the next scene.

1:12 🇫🇷 – Those people are lucky they got to witness an AJR music video unfolding in action. I love that the Eiffel Tower is in the background. The strings playing is just as epic too!

1:20 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️📸 – This is the part the band teased where Austin Roa is running with his camera filming Jack running here. Amazing to see all the duplicated Jacks running!

1:25 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️ – Casually walking Ryan and Adam. I guess they didn’t want to run. Haha!

1:27 👂🐛 The whole post-chorus is such an addicting earworm to hear yet deep down if you put on your lyrical analysis glasses, it’s quite depressing. Lift up those who are down in the dumps, do seek help whenever and wherever possible, please!

1:33 🖼️ – I love these frame transitions!

1:40 🗣️📉 – The sad reality these days. THEORY: The guys offering their take on society’s addiction crisis, inflation woes, and job layoffs.

2:15 😓 – “I’m all 17 at 35” is another strong lyric! While many feel they’ve lucked out on life and have stable plans, jobs… what have you… there are still people who are struggling in life who don’t have a stable job, housing /or even money or don’t have a clear purpose in life. You may feel like you’re still young yet you’re (nearly) twice as old in reality. Time is flying by. You may feel like growing up isn’t meeting your expectations. All of these unfortunate situations and feelings are valid, just know that you are not alone!

2:29 😔💔 – “Don’t leave me out” Aww! This part is sad! Reminds me of when Bart Simpson lost his soul to Milhouse and then he was left struggling to paddle the boat all by himself.


2:35 ⬆️😄 – Permission to walk upstairs like Jack! Weeeee!

2:42 📹🚦 – Love that panned-out shot with Jack standing on the circular enclosed garden patch in the middle of the road!

2:46 💪 – Add parkour to Jack’s resume!!

2:53 ⏪ – Whoa this reverse effect is cool too!

3:27 🥶 – OMG this bridge just gave me chills!!!!! Whoever feels alone right now, please know that there IS someone who will listen to you!


3:40 ✨❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️✨ – BRAVO AJR!! You’ve done it again! I’m going to be listening to this a lot and I can’t wait to hear this live in concert next year! But for now, hug your friends and loved ones. Check on them often because life is precious!

3:43 🎹 – “Wait til the party starts,” whoaaaa! Cuts to black. Awww, and we were about to see Jack smash the keys! Does this mean there’s a continued storyline in the next music video for the next single?!?!! Lots to unpack here!

What The Artist Said:

Check out the cool animated version of the artwork below…

Final Thoughts:

☺️ – Imagine watching Austin Roa and Jack running in the Parisian streets in broad daylight filming the music video!

👏👏 – Major props to VFX artist, Joel Robertson for providing his talents for the music video’s aesthetic! And I want to applaud Austin’s efforts in directing, editing, and shooting this music video!

🐰🥚 – It’s nifty how they alluded to this single’s official artwork in their wardrobe choices for their most recent Tonight Show performance of “I Won’t” this past summer! Click here and here to compare.

🌟 – I’m hyped to hear what the new album will sound like and I’m also wondering…will there be a central theme or storyline to it?!? Feel free to share your thoughts and theories in the comments box below!

‘Til next time, stay safe and happy listening! ✌️

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there will be no post next week. Philip’s Music Corner will return on December 2nd! Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating! 🦃