- Karlee Skipper
Review: "Boundaries" - Laura Marano
Laura Marano boldly stands up for herself in her clever new single, “Boundaries.” The track is about setting limits for those around you in a dignified effort to preserve individual happiness. In life, especially in the modern technological age, people are often expected to be available to others at all times. This leads to an individual being spread too thin, which results in emotional, and even physical, turmoil. Marano takes this unreasonable expectation and throws it out the window. She wants to be the best version of herself and that is impossible when too much is required of you. In the first pre-chorus, Marano reveals the hook with the lyrics: “I’m learning boundaries// I know it’s my fault that I’m without these// I just wanna make 'em feel happy// But maybe they don’t even care about me, about me.” She acknowledges that she should have had these boundaries up before, but she is adapting and learning. However, she is worried that if she does not give herself up for the people around her, they may fail to show up for her in the end—that they never truly cared. This is a feeling that many people have experienced all too well. They are petrified to put boundaries up, in fear that those whom they love will leave them. But in the end, they know that they are better off without people that take advantage of their people-pleasing tendencies. In the chorus, Marano goes on to explain why being a flexible people-pleaser causes more harm than good. She sings, “I can’t give the best of me// When I’m spread so thin// Everybody wants a piece// That I can’t give to them// Wish that I was better when it came to being friends// 'Cause when they don’t see the best of me// They don’t see me again.” When someone is spread too thin, they are not able to give their full, undivided attention to the situation or task at hand. This results in subpar outcomes and everyone involved is disappointed. Marano is worried that because her friends never get to see the best version of herself—the real version—then they will tire of her and leave. So, to counteract this, setting boundaries will help these relationships, even if it sounds counterintuitive. With “Boundaries,” Marano brilliantly articulates the internal struggle of an anxious people-pleaser when they finally find the courage to protect their heart and happiness.
Laura Marano never fails to create infectious songs that contain a complex production and an unforgettable melody. “Boundaries” continues with this creative pattern, exemplifying her outstanding songwriting talent. The song kicks off with a unique intro that instantly catches the listener’s attention. The production is made-up of a rhythmic hand-clap and staggered finger-snaps with a steady bass played in the background. After a couple of measures, Marano’s compelling vocals pick up the melody as the production continues. In the pre-chorus, the finger-snaps remain while the hand-claps cease. In its place, a keyboard is introduced, adding a sultry element to the track. Then, the chorus introduces the full production, bringing back each instrument and adding a classical guitar and a synth beat that helps guide the audience through the vulnerable lyrics. In the post-chorus, Marano beautifully harmonizes with herself, showing off her impressive vocal range. When the bridge hits, she continues with incredible high notes that remind listeners that she is not just a singer, but also a natural performer. Furthermore, the corresponding music video is a brilliantly crafted imagery that brings the song’s message to life. The video shows multiple versions of Marano as plastic dolls. She is seen wearing outfits from her past, including ones from her Disney Channel days and her debut music video while she tries to be comfortable as her current self. She wants to break out of the mold that the industry has set for her, and be who she truly is without the expectations of everyone dragging her down. In the video, her past selves begin to tear her apart, making her into someone she does not recognize. But at the end of the video, the hidden version of herself, breaks through the box that is caging her in and her true self is able to shine through. The last scene shows the newest version of Marano standing confidently with a “Miss Independent” sash. She learned from her past and has grown from it by setting boundaries for those around her. The video perfectly encapsulates the message Marano spreads in the song, making “Boundaries” one of her most brilliantly written projects.
Laura Marano is a singer, songwriter, and classically-trained musician. In 2019, Marano dropped her debut EP, Me. Then in 2020, she released her second EP, You. These two projects combine to showcase that “there are always two sides to every story.” In 2021, she released a deluxe version of You. In July 2022, she released the surprising third chapter, Us. Currently, fans anticipate the release of her upcoming debut album. Not only is Marano a skilled artist, she is also a talented actress. She is well-known for her role as Ally in the hit Disney Channel series, Austin & Ally. She has starred in many movies such as The Perfect Date, Saving Zoe, which she also produced, and The War With Grandpa. Her most recent film was 2022’s Netflix Original The Royal Treatment. In 2023, fans will get to watch her in the interactive Netflix Original romantic comedy, Choose Love. The movie will feature two original songs from the actress. Between her music and acting career, Marano has many projects, keeping fans on their toes for her next move.
Written By Karlee Skipper