October is here! And if you’re a human person in the world, that means you’re either getting excited for or are already annoyed by the constant and all-consuming Halloween fever everywhere. The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colors, the pumpkin spice lattes are being made, and it’s time to get spooky.
Or, if you’re a regular here on this blog, you might remember that last year I had a themed month. A musical themed month, actually. And I thought that was a pretty fun time, so I decided to do another theme for this October. Will this be a yearly thing?
But for this October I suppose we’re going a little traditional. For all this month I’ll be taking on spooks, scares, horrors, and more. And for this first week, I wanted to start with a song I’ve been lowkey thinking about doing an analysis of since the beginning of this blog. “Unfinished Business” by White Lies.
First, a note. While this song is originally by White Lies, I became familiar with this song via the Mumford and Sons cover. There’s two reasons why I prefer the Mumford and Sons cover to the original, and one is that I heard the cover first. The second reason will come up in a bit, promise.
A few weeks ago I was riding on a bus to Chicago on a scholarship trip, listening as I often do to Carly Rae Jepsen’s seminal album “Emotion.” As I was listening to it, I came to a sudden realization about the lyrics of a lot of Carly’s songs. They toe a delicate line between pop and alternative and do a wonderful job at grabbing the positives of both sides.
So I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at these songs to examine just how they manage to pull off this careful balancing act, and why they’re just great songs overall.
Back when I wrote the first post for Musical Month, I had a deep inner crisis over which song deserved the number three spot for “Be More Chill.” Though I knew “Do You Wanna Ride” deserved the spot just as a song I enjoy listening to, I also desperately wanted to talk about “I Love Play Rehearsal,” a short, sweet little song that does an absolutely fantastic job of characterizing Christine. In the end, it came down to the fact that I felt like I had a lot more to say about “I Love Play Rehearsal” than “Do You Wanna Ride,” so it merited its own post. This post, actually!
Well, look at the time! Looks it’s time for another lyrical analysis.
Yep, I did this once before, and it ended up being a really fun little stretch of my analytical muscles. It was really only a matter of time before I came back with yet another song to meticulously dissect because what’s more fun than that? Nothing, obviously.
Like last time, I come to you with a song that has really struck me for its incredibly deep and clever writing. However, this time the lyrics are a little bit more ambiguous. As with all analytical readings, this is simply my own opinion of what the lyrics mean. Your interpretation or the actual interpretation could be wildly different! And that’s okay.
Glass Animals’ “How to Be a Human Being” is an album already filled with, er, unusually-written songs. They certainly like to stick to an off-kilter style, but it’s also a goldmine for interesting lyrical readings. “Pork Soda” is my personal favorite of the bunch, both musically and lyrically. Despite its bouncy, goofy sound and lyrics, it’s a surprisingly sad song about loss and confusion. Sounds like a good time! Let’s get to it!
While talking to my friend Marie, she mentioned listening to a classic song with her mom and dancing around. She highly recommended this song, (“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” by the Hollies) to me, and because I’m not one to turn down a song recommendation, I looked up the song on Youtube.
Marie’s taste in music is a little different than mine. I would say in general she’s more appreciative of the “classics” than I am, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it whenever she throws an older gem my way, and this time was no different. However, I made the terrible awful mistake of scrolling down into the comments, where I found this gem.
And, unsurprisingly, I was peeved. My problems with people like this is one of the biggest reasons I’m not more into classic music. I’m no stranger to music elitists. One might call me one, to be honest. But as far as I’m concerned this commentor has never even heard a modern song before.