K-12 (album)

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K-12
Melanie Martinez - K-12.png
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)
Recorded2015-2017[1][2]
Genre
Length46:27
LabelAtlantic
Producer
Melanie Martinez chronology
Cry Baby's Extra Clutter EP
(2016)
K-12
(2019)
After School
(2020)
Singles from K-12
  1. "Lunchbox Friends"
    Released: TBA[3]

K-12 (pronounced "K through twelve"[4][5]) is the second studio album by American singer Melanie Martinez. It is her first studio album in four years and was released with an accompanying film of the same name on September 6, 2019,[6] through Atlantic Records.[7]

Background[edit]

Martinez began writing the album in 2015.[8][9][10] In a 2017 interview with Billboard, Martinez said that her then-untitled second album was finished and would be accompanied by a film that she was writing and directing.[2] In a February 2019 Instagram post, she wrote that the album "had been done for like two and a half years now", that it would likely be released at the end of summer and that no singles would be commercially released from it.[11]

On January 7, 2020, Martinez announced through her Instagram stories that she will be releasing an EP titled After School that is attached to the K-12 era. It is set to be released sometime in the spring of 2020.[12][13] Martinez also previously revealed that she has planned two more films, both of which will be accompanied by albums.[14]

Promotion[edit]

A teaser video of Martinez in a pastel classroom was released on May 15, 2019.[15] On May 16, she unveiled the album cover through her social media accounts.[16] Martinez revealed the release date through Instagram on May 29.[17]

On June 18, a TV spot was released, which included a snippet of "Nurse's Office".[18] This was followed by weekly promotions, or "assignments", beginning in late June 2019, followed by snippets usually a few hours or a day later. Despite no singles being released from the album, Martinez posted snippets along with respective animated videos for every song from the album to her social media and YouTube accounts.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

On July 23, the official trailer for the K-12 film was released alongside the album tracklist and pre-order. It reveals some of the plot, while a snippet of "Show & Tell" plays at the end of the trailer. It also reveals that the film would be released in select theatres for one day only on September 5, 2019.[4] Martinez will embark on the K-12 Tour in support of the album from October to December 2019, starting in Washington, D.C.[32]

K-12
Directed byMelanie Martinez
Alissa Torvinen (co-director)
Produced byJulie Greenwald
Craig Kallman
Phil Botti
Ron Shapiro
Wes Teshome
Kim Stuckwisch
Gergely Varga
Tyler Zelinsky
Written byMelanie Martinez
StarringMelanie Martinez
Emma Harvey
Music byMelanie Martinez
Michael Keenan
CinematographyJosh McKie
Edited byEmilie Aubrey
Niles Howard
Distributed byAbramorama
Release date
  • September 5, 2019 (2019-09-05)
Running time
95 minutes[33]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5-6 million[34]
Box office$360,000(reflects selected countries only)[35]

Singles[edit]

Martinez announced in January 2020, months after the album's release, that "Lunchbox Friends" would be pushed as the first single off of the album.[36]

Promotional singles[edit]

Prior to the announcement that "Lunchbox Friends" would be the first official single, Martinez pushed both "High School Sweethearts" and "Strawberry Shortcake" as promotional singles in July 2019 via vinyl release.[37]

Music[edit]

K-12 was mostly produced by Michael Keenan, who had previously collaborated with Martinez on a few tracks on her previous album, Cry Baby. One track, "Drama Club", was co-written and produced by Martinez's frequent collaborators, Kinetics & One Love. K-12 is primarily an electropop[38] and alternative pop[39] record. Martinez's official website describes the album's sound as "a vibrant and singular melting pot of low-key hip-hop, soulful pop and indie-leaning electro".[40] AllMusic also notes influences of hip hop and R&B.[41]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[41]

In a positive review, Mike Wass from Idolator described the film as a "twisted pop musical". He praised the "seamless" integration of the album's music into the film's plot and compared the visuals to those found in Tim Burton and Wes Anderson's films, but described the content as "multi-layered, gritty and distinctly Melanie". He stated, "Melanie has created a cohesive, funny, empowering film from scratch — and also delivered 13 bops." and found "Wheels on the Bus" (which he described as an "earworm"), "High School Sweethearts" and "Lunchbox Friends" to be standout album tracks. He ended the review by advising the reader to "[watch] the film before listening to the album to get the full experience. After all, that's the way Melanie intended this era to be consumed."[5]

Commercial performance[edit]

Despite no singles being released prior to the album, K-12 debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with 57,000 album-equivalent units, of which 30,000 were pure album sales. It is Martinez's second US top-10 album.[42] and her highest charting album on the chart to date. Additionally it topped the alternative album chart becoming her second consecutive top charter. Elsewhere the album reached the top 10 of eight different countries including the UK, Australia and Canada. The album has sold 264,900 units in the US, including 56,421 pure sales.[43]

Track listing[edit]

Adapted from Apple Music.[44]

All tracks are written by Melanie Martinez and Michael Keenan, except where noted. All tracks produced by Keenan, except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Wheels on the Bus" 3:40
2."Class Fight"  2:41
3."The Principal"  2:56
4."Show & Tell"  3:35
5."Nurse's Office"  3:22
6."Drama Club"3:45
7."Strawberry Shortcake"
  • Martinez
  • Keenan
  • Warren
 3:04
8."Lunchbox Friends"  2:49
9."Orange Juice"  3:37
10."Detention"  3:56
11."Teacher's Pet"  4:01
12."High School Sweethearts"  5:11
13."Recess"
  • Martinez
  • Keenan
  • Warren
 3:50
Total length:46:27
iTunes bonus video and DVD[45]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
14."K-12" (the film)Martinez
Tyler Zelinsky
92:06
Total length:138:33
Limited edition bonus vinyl single[46]
No.TitleLength
1."High School Sweethearts"5:11
2."Strawberry Shortcake"3:04
Total length:8:15
Notes
  • The song "Fire Drill" appears during the end credits, but is not included in the album.

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various September 6, 2019 [75]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (August 15, 2017). "Melanie Martinez Celebrates 'Cry Baby' Chart Success, Looks Ahead To Elaborate Album/Film Project". Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Are you pushing any singles from K-12??". Vignette Wikia.
  4. ^ a b Melanie Martinez - K-12 (Official Trailer), retrieved 2019-08-30
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  6. ^ "K-12 💗 SEPT 6". May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  20. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 2, 2019). "Snippet of 'The Principal' off my album K-12! Coming sept 6Artwork: @pastelae 'You don't know the pain that you are causing, yeah your actions hurt so do your words.The more you try to fuck us over we will be there yelling at your front door" (Tweet). Retrieved July 3, 2019 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 9, 2019). "✨Snippet of "Detention" off of my album K-12! ✨"Baby can you meet me tonight in detention? I can feel your blood pressure rise, fuck this tension. Let me crawl up into your mind, did I mention? Pretending everything's alright is detention."" (Tweet). Retrieved July 9, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  24. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 1, 2019). "✨Snippet of "Wheels On The Bus" from K-12✨ "I'm saying nothing, No one's watching us don't give a fuck wheels on the bus. I'm holding it down up in the front, wheels on the bus. Ooh."" (Tweet). Retrieved August 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  26. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 15, 2019). "Snippet of "Teacher's Pet" off my album K-12 coming out in 22 days!👼🏼💗" (Tweet). Retrieved August 15, 2019 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 19, 2019). "💕Snippet of "Show & Tell" off K-12! 💕 "Why is it so hard to see? If I cut myself I would bleed. I'm just like you, you're like me. Imperfect and human are we." Artwork: @pastelae ✨👼🏼 Pre-order K-12: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA" (Tweet). Retrieved August 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 24, 2019). "💗Snippet of "Drama Club" off K-12!💗Artwork: Pastelae Pre-order K-12 out September 6: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TW" (Tweet). Retrieved August 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 28, 2019). "Snippet of my personal favorite, "Nurse's Office" off my album K-12! Coming out in 9 fucking days!💗👼🏼 Pre-order: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA Artwork: Pastelae" (Tweet). Retrieved August 28, 2019 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ @MelanieLBBH (September 1, 2019). "💕 Snippet of "Orange Juice" off my album K-12 💕 Coming out in 4 days!!!! Pre-order: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA Artwork: @Pastelae👼" (Tweet). Retrieved September 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
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