“Best Days” by Alessia Cara is a melancholic tune painted with a sense of nostalgia and introspection. The Canadian triple threat – singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist – drops some deep bars about wrestling with young adult uncertainty, grappling with regret and fear of a monotonous future.
The track opens with Cara talking about the challenge of being honest with oneself in their twenties. The line “So much harder to be honest / With yourself at 20-something” speaks to the struggle of self-discovery and the discomfort of confronting one’s own shortcomings and faults. It’s a sentiment many can relate to, as the early adult years are often filled with self-doubt and existential questions.
She continues with the words, “Hoping, waiting on a moment / Not knowing if it’s coming or it’s going,” which captures the anticipatory anxiety of waiting for something significant to occur. The wistful question that follows, “What if my best days are the days I’ve left behind?” ponders if the most significant and joyful moments of life have already passed, leaving only the constant running of mundane days.
Cara brings a cool juxtaposition when she says, “You live and then you die / But the hardest pill to swallow is the meantime.” Here, she’s expressing that while the certainty of birth and death are daunting, the real challenge lies in navigating the ‘meantime,’ the murky waters of life’s everyday ups and downs.
The subsequent lines, “If I had known to feel the fire / I would’ve thrown my arms up higher” reflect regret about not fully embracing and appreciating life’s moments while they lasted. It’s a sobering reminder to live in the present and relish what’s happening instead of constantly hunting for more.
The chorus’s repeated question, “What if my best days are the days I’ve left behind?” dominates the track, symbolizing the recurring nature of self-doubt and anxiety, further illustrating the deep introspection Cara is dealing with.
Overall, “Best Days” is a heartfelt lyrical exploration into the highs, lows and ‘what ifs’ of life—Cara’s way of grappling with her doubts about the future, and musically documenting the universal struggle of uncertainty we all experience, especially in our formative years.