Sunday, May 14, 2006

Blunt Non-Force

I've been hearing this song a lot lately. The one where the guy says "you're beautiful" over and over again. At first I was sure it was the latest in the long line of wussified hits from critically acclaimed but actual peopleally loathed Five For Fighting. And I was curious to learn what the song was about, other than some person who was beautiful. Surely there had to be more to it. You can't get rich with two words, right? The next time it came on, I gritted my teeth and paid close attention to the lyrics...

And I was quite offended. This dude is obviously trying to cash in by taking a situation we've all been in, adding some pretty guitar, and over-dramatizing it by about a thousand percent.

The singer tells us his sad tale about seeing a girl on train, flirting with her for, like, a second, and having to face the reality that they'll never live happily ever after.

Dude. Seriously. Get over it, and get over yourself. I think everyone has experienced this moment. You're single, you're out in public somewhere, somebody smiles at you, and you get these delusions of grandeur. You might even think about that person later that day. But then you move on with your life.

At this point, I wanted to see the full set of lyrics. I found out that it wasn't even Five For Fighting, but a British bloke who used to be in the army named James Blunt. At that moment, I suddenly had a newfound respect for Five For Fighting, just because they didn't write this song. (And, fittingly, much like the memory of the eye-batting of some random girl, that respect was gone the next morning.) Read the lyrics here.

Blunt has some nerve.

She was with another man.

Okay, that's reason number one to just forget about it. Reason number two would be that even if she wasn't with another man (hey, dick, he's "the" man; if anyone's "another" man, it's your sorry ass), well, bad news, buddy, but you're not the only guy she flirted with. Not that week, not that day, hell, not even on that train ride. Trust me.

I saw your face in a crowded place/ And I don't know what to do/ 'Cause I'll never be with you.

Do he expect us to believe that he "doesn't know what to do"? Come on, man. I imagine the following scene taking place later in the day of the incident:

"James, I came right over. I heard you were in a real bind! What is it? How can I help?"

"Well, a girl looked at me earlier. I really don't know what to do about this, mate."

"I came down here for this? A girl looked at you? James, I'm sorry, but this is the fourth time this week. I have patients depending on me. They need their medication. I'm going back to the hospital, and if you call again, James--are you even listening?--I will not answer my phone. Understand?"

Let's move on.

And I don't think that I'll see her again/ But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

Son of a bitch. The end? Of time? This man must be stopped. Dude, get help and soon.

She could see from my face that I was/ Flying high

You don't know that. Again, it's just some lady glancing at you, possibly by accident, standing with her boyfriend.

Then there's the infamous chorus:

You're beautiful/ You're beautiful/ You're beautiful/ it's true.

Is that all you got? What's with the "it's true"? Was your other option "You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful...just kiddin'!"? You've already reiterated the fact that she's beautiful twice, and then you feel the need to clarify that what you're saying is indeed the truth?

Look, buddy, my friend Brian once wrote the lyric We'll eat you alive/ and we won't leave nothin' left/ and we're not gonna stop/ until you're all dead. You wrote You're beautiful/ it's true. Yet, for some reason, you're gonna be the one to get a million dollars out of the deal. You might as well just walk over to Brian's house and hand him that money.

But it's time to face the truth/ I will never be with you.

Okay, I'll give him that--he eventually admits it. But after how long? He obviously thought about this girl for years, maybe decades. He loses with me either way, because even if the whole story, complete with final truth-facing, only lasts as long as the song does, well, the whiny, tearful singing style would then officially become bullshit.

What puts it over the edge that this guy is a big phony who's trying to make money by making Americans relate to him are the following facts:

1. He changed his name from Blount to Blunt. Terrible job. This is like when this kid I went to first grade with, whose last name was "Gay," came into class one day claiming that he mom remarried, and that his new name was "Gaines." Well, not quite, but I've always wanted to tell that story on this blog. But still, "Americanizing" one's name is for pricks.

2. He says "subway" in the song. Isn't it the "tube" in England? I guarantee his agent, Nigel, told him to change it before everybody thinks he saw the girl standing on a toothpaste tube. "Subway"=$$$! (British people: You're not offended by "Nigel," right? All British music industry people are named Nigel, you have to admit. And we just don't have any Nigels over here, so we laugh every time we hear it anyway.)

3. He changed "fucking high" to "flying high" for the radio version. Again, terrible job. Why don't you just say you're a yankee fan just so you can get into, I don't know, some place where Red Sox fans aren't allowed.

4. Kurt Cobain already did the "start the verse, then stop short before restarting" thing ("Polly said...") that Blunt starts the song with. And until you actually put the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger (hint hint), no one's going to believe you're really depressed about this crap. Oh, right, except for all of idiot America.

Meh, it's pop: of course the lyrics are dumb. He's got a hell of a voice, though, so it's pleasant pablum.

If you're looking for socially conscious lyrics, you could at least get to the end of the album for "No Bravery". I haven't heard anyone else write a song about balkan genocide (where the army dude was stationed) since maybe Dolores O'Riordan.
I'm with Jere - that song is freaking terrible. The only redeeming thing about it is that it's not a country song.
>>He obviously thought about this girl for years, maybe decades.<<

Are there really people who have such low self esteem that they could relate to this?

I wish there were a song that implied, "we had ups and downs, things didn't work out, but life doesn't end." Oh, wait, Carol King did that, but she might be the only person who crafted a song that contains such a healthy and mature message about loving and losing and moving on. Seems like every love song is so freaking intense, especially those about heartache. Specially designed to stomp all over your soul. It bugs me.
Phil--that's another thing that bothers me. This guy had this interesting life and writes tunes about it, but what do they release first? "You're beautiful." That's the label's fault, but still, the guy could have said, "I'd rather put out this other song first..."

Then again, maybe he's trying to drag people in with the cheesy love song, and then BAM, Balkan genocide.

Then again again, maybe the label "didn't hear a single," and said, "these Balkan tunes won't get you anywhere, here'a song written by the Five for Fighting guy, record this and we'll talk."

EIther way, it seems he compromised his integrity.

J & K: yeah.
Whoops. J & WCSG, I meant.
Think Woodstock chant- NO RAIN NO RAIN NO RAIN! Baltimore, open up your arms, not your skies. We need to play. I say this as the rain has begun again, in earnest. But we here in North Central CT. were lucky. We've only had 3 inches of rain, mostly Friday afternoon into Saturday morn. You folks up North, and east, stay safe.
1. He changed his name from Blount to Blunt. Terrible job. This is like when this kid I went to first grade with, whose last name was "Gay," came into class one day claiming that he mom remarried, and that his new name was "Gaines." Well, not quite, but I've always wanted to tell that story on this blog. But still, "Americanizing" one's name is for pricks.

But what he did was sort of the opposite of that. Rather than go from "Gay" to "Gaines" to avoid embarassment, he went from "Blount" to something more embarassing (unless you are a member of Cypress Hill). Unless he was so ashamed of the lackadaisical play of former Boston Celtics Center Mark Blount that he changed his name, I think this should be applauded.

I applaud you, James Bl(o)unt (for your embarassing name, not your song).
Americanization of the lingo, is called "Lingual Dissolution."
I wasn't even thinking of the word "blunt" that is now his name, but good point. I just meant that he changed the "ou" to "u," like we do with colour and honour. No, wait, we take out the u, not the o. This job keeps getting more terrible by Blount/Blunt.

"The subway" in London is actually some underground passageways that people pass through to avoid crossing complicated streets, while "the tube" is "the underground", or what we in New York call the subway. It took me a few years of trips over to London to figure that one out!

BTW, what's wrong with Five For Fighting?
Thanks for clearing that up.

"what's wrong with Five For Fighting?"

eh, it's subjective, I guess.

You know what's weird? When I originally wrote this, I put "Coldplay" instead of Five for Fighting. Then, just to make sure I had the right band in mind, I looked up the two songs I thought were by Coldplay, and it turned out they were BOTH by Five For Fighting. So I changed it. I can't believe I'm even saying "Five for Fighting" so many times. I have to stop now. I'm instituting an F-cubed ban from here on out. For myself. You all can keep saying it, but I'm done.
Dude- on what planet is Five for Fighting critically acclaimed?

Other than that, yea, this song is a drop in a sea of popular music suck. I can't believe you listened long enough to get all the lyrics.
How do you name your band "Five for Fighting" and sing in falsetto on all your songs?

I think the Barenaked Ladies could probably take those guys on ice.
Me- 1
Blunt- 0
SWEET! -Brian
A quick google search provided this, from something called andPOP: ""The Battle for Everything," Ondrasik and Five for Fighting's third album, was released earlier this month to critical-acclaim."

So, Earth, I guess. Terrible job by the critics who acclaimed it. And I got the lyrics from the web, it's not like I had access to the song and sat there rewinding and reviewing.

Yeah, there is a 10,000 Maniacs effect with their name-to-wussness ratio.

Brian, keep up the good work.
I'm pretty sure I'm about three more blog entries from adding your "terrible job" to my personal lexicon. Just so you know.
That's the goal. Read a brief history of "TJ" here:

That reminds me, I've been meaning to tell a story of another phrase I'd like to get out to the public. I kind of stopped using it, but it needs to come back. And maybe this blog is the key to a nationwide sweep for it. Watch for that soon. I mean, live your life in the meantime, but, watch for it.
There was a very very funny parody of that song doing the rounds a while back, but someone in Blunt's camp got hold of it and threatened them with legal mumbojumbo and now it's without the hilarious song that went with it. A damn shame, really.
There needs to be a game tonight or Damon needs to say something stupid again, because we all have way too much time on our hands!

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