Analyzing the Lyrics of “That’s Life” by The Recap Band, From the Album “Neon Milk”
Wow have the Recap Band been living it of late! Life that is. If you have been following them in their travels, they just got back from the Hobloth III LARP event in Austin, Texas. Talk about a road trip!
They are working on their next album, though, so I had better get a move on with getting this one done!
This first thing is the overall song is about life just like you would think from the title. So keep that in mind as we delve into the more subtle parts!
Started off at the bottom I watch the energies all ascend
As I indicated we are talking about life and you need to keep that in mind to understand the lyrics. This is saying that I started out in life at the bottom. Not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, rich, or with a big hand out. Instead, what I have or what I will get is what I make on my own. While I am trying to figure it all out I am watching all the other people racing after what they think they want.
Road blocks I topped them I’m pushing through to the end But my heart strings have taken space ‘round my throat My head beats back I’m slowly losing control
My purpose turns into one hell of a backstabbing friend
Bright ideas go dark night of my soul begins
I sit in silence up here
Floating in the outer stratosphere
So there you are watching all these people race towards what they what but what you want is different. Your finding that unlike other things you can’t just go after it, it’s a harder road being blocked.
Your loosing control and such because, well, think of it like an anxiety attack. You know you want this thing, but why can’t you go after it? Why is it wrong to do so in so many other people’s eyes?
You have all these passionate and amazing ideas but you feel like they are just fading to nothing. Not working out, can’t try it, or even just not given a chance to. So you are as far away from everything as you possibly can be just observing it all and watching… [pullquote]Floating in the outer stratosphere[/pullquote].
My best illusions are the first ones to fall
Life’s lonely when you’re sitting on top of the world
It’s everything you want or its nothing at all
That’s life when you’re sitting on top of the world
I have a hard time with the chorus because I can see some different meanings here. I think that’s the point. This song has some transitional parts to it. What I mean by that is it is talking about a particular stage in life, yet it also has a between the lines vibe of, this is an earlier stage, and there are other stages that come later.
First, I think that it is saying that as you are going out and following these ideas you have in life, you realize how wrong you were. The things you felt strongest about are the ones that you discover first, and this allows you to find others then.
However, part of that is finding you and understanding yourself. That is a hard thing that while others may lend some aid through their experiences, in the end, everyoens path is different.
When you figure yourself out, who and what you want out of life, you may find happiness, or may find that you are still unhappy. Unable to either achieve what you need to to be happy or even perhaps doing so find you’re still not happy, and you didnt understand things as well as you thought.
That’s what it is all about! Is it, though?
Is it also perhaps not also that when you take the courage to rip away the largest illusions and falsehoods that you have weaved around your mind, that this allows you to discover yourself and achieve happiness?
Which while a terrific thing, even just figuring out the path can also be a hard thing. You have learned some lessons about yourself and about life, which just cannot be entirely taught. You can help provide hints, direction, but everyone has to get there on their own. That is a frustrating and lonely position to be in!
Either you will be at peace with what you have found for yourself and be happy, or because you have a need to help other people, not able just to enjoy it for yourself but also most share it with others that its not everything and everything you need and want can only be failed with continual effort. In fact, you may find that part of being happy in life means contributing a certain part of it to others and without that, you cannot truly be happy.
Finally and most importantly, though, what it most directly means is that maybe you do something in life because it is what you have been led to believe you should do. Whether it is your parent’s, your peers, your employees, or academia, this is the path you have been convinced that has been lain out for you.
You win man! You get their baby! Then you find out you are not happy. Now you have to look at yourself and your life, what you have been taught, and only by completely destroying part of who you are can you rebuild to figure out what you need to do for yourself. Like those damned illusions rip that bandaid away quick because it is going to hurt! Or in this case, duct tape! In this meaning, it also is good as a chorus as you may have to do this in life more than once. It never really truly ends in fact.
My thoughts are caught in orbit watching belief systems burn
I try to ignore it but then I hear their concerns
And I falter gravity pulls me down fast
I can’t hold back I’m reaching critical mass
My eyes both remain closed I’m seeing nothing but black
I’m blasting off this psychedelic track Swimming in chemicals up here Inside my upper hemisphere
This overall is not much different than the first verse. Watching belief system burn is a correlation to ripping the illusions away.
I try to ignore it means that I do not listen to what others are telling me but then what they are saying begin to convince me I am wrong after a while. I start listening to them.
That causes me to fail really quick and now I don’t know how to succeed. The more I am convinced it seems like the unhappier I become. Until I am so mind washed by them that all I see and do means nothing.
It’s time to get off all these chemicals and drugs, which equate to the mind washing of society and people. Time to follow the path that is there inside your head, you just have to learn to follow it.
(Chorus) (Verse 3)
Feels like I’m up against a brick wall
Waiting for the day that shit falls
Seems like this is my pitfall
Throwing rocks might as well be throwing spit balls
‘Cause the bricks all line up like a psychedelic jigsaw
Only one way in it’s this y’all
And it’s all still pulling me forward like a rickshaw
Gotta get to paradise
Got enough bad memories terabytes
I just wanna rap but I’m scared of mics
I wanna be on top but I’m scared of heights
Guess it all comes back to fear
Sweatin’ whole clips it’s that severe
‘Cause it’s high pressure in this atmosphere
Breaking down the last verse goes something like the first. Ok, I realize how bad that was, but I am keeping it.
Ok, the brick wall, shit falling, and pitfall. These are all about having a hard time breaking away from the constraints that have been put on you by what everyone and everything has taught you to believe.
You try to break away from those teachings and find you own, throw rocks at the walls they have created in your mind but it is hard, it doesn’t do much, those rocks are like spitballs.
It’s not this straight, organized wall that makes sense. You haven’t been told all lies. Some things are real, some are partly right but only when looked at or viewed at in particular ways. Other things are utterly wrong. Some things apply to some but not others. If I destroy it all where do I start over? If I don’t destroy it all what do I pick and choose? How do I take out all these wrong pieces and re-assemble it all in a way that is proper without all the right pieces?
I know this makes me happy, I know I enjoy doing this. So all I can do right now is try this with everything I have. I will keep searching for all the answers, the meanings, and the rest. This I know is good though and so I will give it everything I have in the hopes it helps me find everything I need.
It’s hard though because I have been wrong before and tried the wrong things. There’s risk, and time, and money. I don’t want to worry about all of that; I just want to do what I enjoy. I don’t have a choice though because while I am scared, I have no other options, I have to do this because there is currently nothing else to try. I can’t give up, even though I am terrified, so I will keep working and keep figuring the things out at the same time.
These articles are being done with the permissions of the band members and producer. They have no idea what I will be typing and see it when you do. These are my opinions and while they may be represented in a factual manner that is only for purposes of my attempts at making things more enjoyable to read. They are not meant to serve as the actual meanings of these songs, only my interepertations.
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