Monday, October 10, 2011

Songs I'm Obsessed With: "Even Rats" by The Slip

This little shaving came right off the top of my "Most Played" playlist. The only places they've showed up in something rather famous is the first Guitar Hero game and in download form for Rock Band. Yes, that's where I first heard this song, but what is the problem with that? I have this whole argument for discovery of music through music games, that it brings great music to a whole new generation in a different but fun medium, and that really there shouldn't be anything wrong with liking music from a music game. Liking only music from music games, though, I have a problem with.

In fact, the funny thing about the Guitar Hero part of my discovery of this song is that I'm the only one of my friends who adored playing this song in the game. It's apparently known well for its difficulty, and not only was it so much fun to play in that game, but the song itself is just so great.

But enough of that; we're here to talk about this song, this wonderful, splendid song. "Even Rats" is a song about... well, I'm not quite sure. The lyrics don't really make much sense when you put them together. It's like... trying to put together pieces from at least four different puzzles. Snippets of the lyrics alone cover topics from political commentary, "Maybe the men up on Capitol Hill/Need a little less Jack and a little more Jill," to agreements to give away electrical appliances, "You can have my stereo." Very little sense is made from the lyrics to this song, and I can't really put the pieces together on my own. It seems that the commenters over at SongMeanings are just as confused and divided. You can see their interpretations if you like, but I don't think any of them are particularly accurate.

The song itself is also something of a puzzle. At first, it sounds like it's going to be a fast, upbeat song, but after you get through the first 40 seconds or so, it transforms into something much more relaxing and chilly. By chilly I mean chill, very relaxed and laid back. After the first and second verse comes a "whoa" section where the singer trades words for "whoas" and, following the first part of this section, the music takes on a form that washes over the listener like a relaxing tidal wave. The last two minutes of the song bring the themes back to the first forty seconds, with added vocals, speeding things up again for a quick departure. Quick, except the song is five-and-a-half minutes long. So the song takes a sort of A B C B C' A' form.

It's hard to describe much more than this, even though I've been gaining a lot of skills in the description of music from my music appreciation class. I encourage you to listen and follow along with the lyrics. Make your own interpretations and comment about them on this article. I would like to hear your responses, even though you don't exist.

No comments:

Post a Comment