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Meaning of ‘Inertia’ by ‘AJR’

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Released: 2023

“Inertia” by AJR is a savvy pop tune delving into the theme of stagnation and the struggle to face change. It’s like a mirror reflecting a common human feeling – being stuck in one place and not quite knowing how to move forward. Its soul-stirring lyrics resonate with the youth wrestling with inertia in various life aspects, be it relationships, career aspirations or self-improvement.

The lyrics kick off with, “(Inertia) I’ve worn the same skinny jeans since I was 15, it’s probably nothing“, signifying an unwillingness to change, even down to trivial matters like clothing style. When he sings, “(Inertia) my friends say they’re quitting this week to chase down their dreams, they’re probably bluffin’“, it reflects the skepticism or criticism towards those attempting to take a leap of faith and break free from the status quo.

The chorus touches on our inherent human contradiction. We yearn for something “bigger, better“, yet we maintain the comfortable status quo (“do what you can“). The singer admits, “I was gonna save the planet, but today, I got plans“, revealing how grand ambitions often get sidelined by everyday commitments. The repetitive line “I’m an object in motion, I’ve lost all emotion” is a metaphor indicating the singer’s state of numbness due to the monotonous nature of life.

Relationship inertia is expressed in the verse, “(Inertia) you said you’d break up with her but she met your family and dating’s the worst, yeah“. It speaks to a common situation where people stay in relationships not out of love but due to emotional lethargy or societal pressure. The line “now you’re not in love anymore but you’ll stick it out for like 20 years more” reflects a grim view of longstanding relationships, hinting at the difficult choices people sometimes make to maintain a familiar status quo.

The final stanza, “(Inertia) I wanna move out of this town but everyone knows me and packing is tiring” resonates with those frightened of starting afresh in unfamiliar territory. And the line “(Inertia) I said I would start working out but I’m fucking hungry, and screw you, I’m trying” is a comical take on self-improvement challenges, asserting that sometimes, it’s okay to give in to comfort and convenience.

In essence, AJR’s “Inertia” captures the paradox of craving progress while being simultaneously scared of disruption. It validates the struggle inherent in the push-and-pull dynamics of comfort and ambition, making us realize that sometimes, it’s perfectly normal to be stuck in the rhythm of life’s inertia.

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