Archive for the The Flaming Lips Category

Wait… I Thought That Was a Love Song…

Posted in Damien Rice, The Flaming Lips on February 17, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Sunday night, my wife and I went out for a nice romantic, post-Valentine’s Day dinner at our favorite little Italian restaurant here in town. This, of course, was after our annual Valentine’s Day dinner at The Waffle House (You want a place that isn’t crowded on Feb. 14?… Waffle House).

Anyway, the Italian place where we went Sunday night is possibly my favorite spot in town because of the great food and intimate atmosphere. Part of the atmosphere comes from the great music that is always playing in the background. The first time we went there, we heard a Willie Nelson jazz concert on XM Radio. The last time we were there, our waitress had compiled a nice playlist of She & Him, The Weepies, and other similar artists. The music always adds to the dining experience.

Sunday night was no exception. We enjoyed some Death Cab for Cutie and Air while perusing our menus. We obviously noticed the music, but it wasn’t really a part of the conversation until the playlist brought up “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips. My wife commented on how this song tricks you into thinking it’s going to be a sweet little love song with the opening line of, “Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face.” Three lines later, however, Wayne Coyne (pictured above) reminds us all that everyone we love will someday die. Not quite as cheerful.

That song was followed a few minutes later by Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter.” This is another song that the casual listener will identify as love song due to the repeated chorus of “I can’t take my eyes/mind off of you.” A closer listen will reveal something more sinister underneath with talk of denials, loathing, and an absence of heroes. The song is punctuated by the final, almost inaudible line. “I can’t take my mind off of you… Til I find somebody new.” You have to be paying very close attention to find out that Damien’s seeming obsession is only fleeting at best. It’s a nice little twist.

That got me thinking… What other songs are there out there that deliver that kind of twist at the end? What songs seem to have one intent only to reveal their true meanings upon a closer listen?

R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” comes to mind… once you realize that the object of that love was, “Just a prop to occupy my time.” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” is more about perverted obsession than loving devotion, and Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” was written to be a kiss-off to an ex-lover… not a fond remembrance of happier times.

Any others?

The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize? (Buy Album)
Damien Rice: The Blower’s Daughter (Buy Album)