Jack-in-the-box

30 07 2004

Day 9 – I fucked up… I’ll combine 9 and 10 tomorrow.

So I’ve been listening to a bunch of music lately, and The Postal Service’s album has me really grooving. I feel I have to express my thoughts on it.The album’s called Give Up.

So… this album moves me. I can’t say that about many albums, and most of them stop moving me after a certain period of my life is over. The Beatles and the Grateful Dead really did it for me as a kid because they were my first exposure to music. The now-defunct Long Beach Dub Allstars’ first album was excellent in my opinion and got me through a bit of high school ok. About a year ago, someone turned me on to Sigur Ros, which is an amazing group, and one of their albums was with me all the time for about two months. It was so relaxing (though I can’t say the same about the other album(s?) they put out.

Anyways, this album is amazing. Each song has that right mix. Most songs that should be sad can make me feel happy because of the melody or the beat. That’s the case here. usually the songs start with a sample or a non-percussion instrument, and I wouldn’t be sure if I’d like it. Then, the percussion comes in super-fast and is way in contrast with the other part. That bugs me a little, but I start to tap my foot. Finally, the beat swings and the vocals come in and the song’s magic starts. Each song has just the right tempo and mix of sounds and melody. Meghan describes it as good running music.

What means the most to me are the lyrics. Lyrics usually mean little to me because the best lyrics are usually punk songs. Unfortunately, I’m finding punk songs less and less clever or interesting and more and more whiny and similar. These lyrics are different and not totally understandable, but there’s this constant underlying theme of lost love and regret. Maybe one or two songs have a good attitude about love, but the rest are written with this undeniable sadness. Lyrics like “I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving” and “Will someone please call a surgeon who can crack my ribs and repair this broken heart?” show relationships that didn’t work out so hot and the guy lamenting it. I could see this as a great breakup album just because I could really connect to a few of the lyrics. Sometimes they say just what I feel like saying.

As far as individual songs go, I have to write my thoughts on them for anyone who actually enjoys the whole album. Feel free to gloss over or skip. Song interpretations are my own, horribly analytical, possibly pretentious, probably wrong and mostly for my own peace of mind, not yours.

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – The refrain is great. “You seem so so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex.” I feel like it might describe the awkwardness of a relationship that never should have started out in the first place. “I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving.”

Such Great Heights – This song is one of the happy ones. The happy thoughts about the freckles make me think of Eternal Sunshine. This song’s about loneliness when you’re apart for a while. It’s really sweet, I think, and I’m a guy who would never really say anything’s sweet usually.

Sleeping In – This song move me so much just because it doesn’t go anywhere. I get the meaning a little, but as with all of these, it’s open to a lot of interpretations.

Nothing Better – This song was the saddest to me. It’s about a guy who fucks up and a girl who won’t take his shit and won’t give him another chance. I like that there’s an actual response from the girl. The guy has this glorious vision of marrying the girl and loving her for the rest of his life. He definitely realizes he loves her, but the girl comes back that he’s way off with his memories of the relationship and needs to drop it. The guy won’t give up, either. Finally the girl says “You’ve had your chance, so say goodbye. Say goodbye.”

Recycled Air – The song uses flight as a metaphor for relationship I think. I can’t tell, but my guess is it’s about the pattern of many relationships. Lightheadedness and nervousness as a relationship starts, interesting landscape for a while, a slow fade to the ocean, a calming, then finally the pattern of a long-lived relationship. Maybe it’s still strong, maybe not, but it’s “recycled air”.

We Will Become Silhouettes – This song is okay, but not entirely my type of music. The lyrics are scary to be sure. I can’t really attempt to come up with a significant meaning to the lyrics but it’s fairly catchy.

This Place is a Prison – Also not really to my liking. Ok but not great.

Natural Anthem – A nice, mostly instrumental song with some cool lyrics.

Brand New Colony – Probably the most radio-friendly of the songs because of the opening arcade bleeps and bloops, which are cool. This song is an affirmation of love or a promise of what’s to come. I can feel this in many more ways than I’d like to describe and the song makes me wish that promises like this weren’t so damn futile. So many times… It’s a sad one for me.

Against All Odds (not from the album and not sure where it’s from, but it’s a Phil Collins cover, as if no one does those) – The song is a really good breakup cover. The guitar mid-song is great and should have been kept for the whole rest of it. Man. It’s just one more of those sad song that I love to hear. Who knows why šŸ˜• I love the lyrics for this. Especially, “take a look at me now, I’ll just be standing here, and you coming back to me is against the odds and that’s a chance I’ve gotta face.

Clark Gable – This song is great and probably my favorite on the album. I think it’s kind of a dream of what could have been. I clicked with this one because of the refrain. “I want so badly to believe that ‘there is truth, that love is real’ and I want life in every word to the extent that it’s absurd”. I feel like that. Way too often I feel like I might be in love, but it slips away or turns out to be a sham. I’ve only been in true love once in my life and ended it for foolish reasons that can’t be explained or justified. I feel love occasionally for people that goes beyond platonic and very close to genuine love, but it never is reciprocated, and it’s really hard to let go of that.

Ah man. Wow, that was a lot, but I think I emended to get it off my chest. Well, I have nothing more to write for tonight. There’s always more tomorrow.

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