Sunday, July 06, 2008

into the ocean

I'm just a normal boy
That sank when I fell overboard
My ship would leave the country
But I'd rather swim ashore

Without a life vest I'd be stuck again
Wish I was much more masculine
Maybe then I could learn to swim
Like 'fourteen miles away'

Now floating up and down
I spin, colliding into sound
Like whales beneath me diving down
I'm sinking to the bottom of my
Everything that freaks me out
The lighthouse beam has just run out
I'm cold as cold as cold can be. Be

I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion... yeah
Let the rain of what I feel right now... come down
Let the rain come down

Where is the coastguard
I keep looking each direction
For a spotlight, give me something
I need something for protection
Maybe flotsam junk will do just fine
the jetsam sunk, I'm left behind
I'm treading for my life believe me
(How can I keep up this breathing)

Not knowing how to think
I scream aloud, begin to sink
My legs and arms are broken down
With envy for the solid ground
I'm reaching for the life within me
How can one man stop his ending
I thought of just your face
Relaxed and floated into space

(repeat chorus)

Now waking to the sun
I calculate what I had done
Like jumping from the bow (yeah)
Just to prove I knew how (yeah)
It's midnight's late reminder of
The loss of her, the one I love
My will to quickly end it all
Set front row in my need to fall

Into the ocean, end it all [4x]
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye) [3x]
(repeat chorus)

Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
(Into space)Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye) [5x]
I thought of just your face

* * *

When it comes to leisure for my auditory sense, I always go for beats defying usual tunes that easily fall under two common visual images: butterflies in the fields and rain in the afternoon. These two mental pictures are, oftentimes, imagined when one listens to songs that are totally rehash of previous popular songs. Though originality is just so hard to determine in song writing and music composition, there are some singles that I can consider a cut from the rest. And one of my favorites is Into the Ocean by Blue October.

A rock band that originated at Houston in 1995, Blue October is led by Justin Furstenfeld and is accompanied by his brother Jeremy Furstenfeld (percussion) along with Ryan Delahoussaye (violin, mandolin, piano, vocals), C.B. Hudson (guitar) and Matt Noveskey (bass guitar). Truth be told, this is their only single that I love because it stands out from the rest of their collection. Their songs are mostly rock and it’s just refreshing to hear something from them that’s relaxing but not at the point to make one sleep—indeed, a real good use of Justin’s vocals. The song’s bending and somewhat electronically-synthesized vocalizations remind me of Jim Sturgess’s version of the famous Beatle song Across the Universe, and Chatter’s Tale of the local band Orange and Lemons. Even its dark humor is reminiscent of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. MamuVies, a Youtube user, said the song is “hypnotic” and I agree.

As for the music video it shows a show; presenting a theater-like production of their song reflecting the cheerful and buoyant calmness of the melody. Some scenes are funny, such as the band riding a ship in the sea, but these only add to the unique charm of the overall video—quirky but beautiful. Aside from the band’s gothic get-up, I love their hair!

The lyrics, too, don’t fall flat with Justin’s singing prowess; it’s as if every line embody his very being. In entirety, the lyrics is not ambitious. The words are neither florid nor impressionistic; they are simple but skillfully weaved to form a complex narrative. What is this narrative, if there’s any? From what I’ve apparently learned after the nth play, it’s a twisted telling of desperation—a weakness so hard to ignore that when one falls under such circumstance, he has to accept the fact and let the rain come down//. He has to face these trials. Whereas Princess102100, another Youtube user, have commented under the video that “…the guy is like drowning and thinking about the girl as he tries to get strength to survive and swim away,” I say that the guy is much more concerned about his becoming strong and fulfilling it with his own efforts rather than merely chasing this lady he loves. The lines I'm cold as cold as cold can be// and I scream aloud, begin to sink// also stress the idea of an Achilles' heel; meaning the hero of this song has a flaw and it could be his feeling of inadequateness because he is just a normal boy.//

The song's lyrics can also be dissected for gender studies as well. One particular thing to note about is the second line of the second stanza which says I wish I was more masculine//. Though I really have nothing serious against the band, this line provokes some biases toward gender roles and sexuality. If the persona “wishes” to be more masculine in order to get away from life’s harsh realities, then this is an insult to all females of the world—and even homosexuals. Can't the non- or lesser-masculine beings of the world incapable of handling difficulties? I may have studied a different context here but this I cannot ignore; the line just jars from the rest of the striking lines. To some extent, pathetic.

Nevertheless, the overall composition is definitely noteworthy. Of course, I shouldn’t have chosen this song if it isn’t. What more can I say? Well, this is one work that testifies poetry is still alive in the 21st century. But not a perfect poem, though.

* if the video is unavailable, click here.


starsplashes said...

i <3 "calling you" :)

Anonymous said...

specifically what are those biases?
ayla...hi jords