11th Dimension – Julian Casablancas

Listen here:

So you may not know the name, but the voice may seem familar. Julian Casablancas is the lead singer of The Strokes. You may recognize a few of these titles: Last Nite, Reptilia, Juicebox. So now he’s struck out on his own and his album came out late last year. This was the first single.

Lyrics here, more below:
I’ll just nod, I’ve never been so good at shaking hands,
I live on the frozen surface of a fireball,
Where cities come together to hate each other in the name of sport,
America, nothing is ever just anything,
I looked up to you, but you thought I would look the other way

And you hear, what you want to hear
And they take what they want to take…

Don’t be sad, won’t ever happen like this anymore
So when’s it coming, this last new great movement that I can join?
It won’t end here, your faith has got to be greater than your fear

Forgive them, even if they are not sorry,
All the vultures, bootleggers at the door waiting,
Your are looking for your own voice but in others,
While it hears you, trapped in another dimension

Drop your guard, you don’t have to be smart all of the time
I’ve got a mind full of blanks, I need to go somewhere new fast,
And don’t be shy, oh no, at least deliberately
‘Cause no one really cares or wonders why anymore
Oh I’ve got music coming out of my hands and feet and kisses…

That is how it once was done
All the dreamers on the run

Forgive them, even if they are not sorry
All the vultures, bootleggers at the door waiting,
We’re so quick to point out our own flaws in others
Complicated mammals on the wings of robots

If you believe in this world then no one has died in vain
But don’t you dare get to the top and not know what to do

Interesting little ditty ain’t it? I love the beat but I also love that everything in the song is at odds with everything else. Upbeat tempo and a questioning mind. Question but have faith. Protect yourself but let go.

On the one hand this seems to be directed at America and its influence on the world in recent years. But somehow I think America is just used as a personification. It seems to me this song is more about taking ourselves less seriously and taking care. Forgiving others is the key and if you have a little faith, your time on this earth isn’t the end.

I was a bit surprised at this take but I can totally see it. Life is full of contradictions and so are we. So for the song, nothing matters as long as we have a little faith. And don’t live in fear (which seems to be what the main push is these days) because it won’t matter in the end.

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