Artist – Blue October
Album – Sway
Year – 2013
Genre – Alternative/Modern Rock
Ok, I promised a fresh start with keeping up on new tracks every week, so let’s start right on new music Tuesday with a brand new song by modern rock group Blue October. I literally found this track whilst poking around for a new track to use, but after hearing it I promptly decided I was going to use it. So here we go.
The beginning of the song is this quiet echoing piano line, and it creates this very eerie mood going in. However, as soon as frontman Justin Furstenfeld starts singing, the pieces begin to fall into place. His voice is sweet and longing, and the music sounds perfectly in tuned with his sadness. Make no mistake, this is a song about pain and sadness. Furstenfeld’s lyrics are well written and very poetic, and i’ll talk about them in full later. The song’s first two verses are soft, but Furstenfeld has a pleading in his voice that perfectly balances tone. The instrumentation is simple: a soft guitar line, echoing piano hits, and a simple drum line, but more is not needed here. The vocals have great little intonations here and there which really display Furstenfeld as the highlight.
The verses lead right into the explosive chorus. There’s this jittery back beat here which makes the chorus fast and intense, as do Furstenfeld’s vocals. You can tell that singing this was definitely cathartic for him as he almost seems to cry-sing it. It’s that intense, but also well written and catchy for sure. The instruments add bombast and depth to the intensity of the words and vocals. It’s a chorus reminiscent of Coldplay almost, or especially a song like The Funeral by Band of Horses.
The next two verses are even better than the first, and there’s a return to the instrumentation of the beginning of the song. I have to talk about the last lines of the fourth verse. They just got me.
“I keep trying to heal your pain. In return, you cut me over and over.”
Wow. What a great universal statement of the painful side of life that is. How many times do we find ourselves trying to help a loved one or a friend, but in return, they spurn us or ever hurt us. I just felt this line is so resonant with so many people out there, I had to point it out. The actual last line of this verse, “One more time and I will…” is sung with great force, and there’s this awesome syncopation in that line that leads directly into the next chorus.
The next chorus is just as good as the first, with the same great beat and instrumentation. The bridge to the song isn’t the best melody wise, but the lyrics are certainly the highlight. It quickly leads into the last two choruses, the second of which is AMAZING. The second chorus has great drum mix ups in the bass pedal and great overlaying with harmonies and side vocals, and this continues till the end of the song. It paints this amazing picture of heartache that’s as detailed as anything, and it shows the band pouring their very soul into the music and words. Speaking of…
The lyrics are the absolute standout of this track. Furstenfeld’s words show us a man at the very pit of sadness and pain. He’s been “cut” so many times by his loved one that he feels he’s bleeding out and they’re doing nothing but just watching. It’s intense stuff, but poetic. The notion that a loved one knows just where to hurt you “with their eyes closed” is painful, but I feel it’s very true for many out there who’ve experienced similar situations. It’s a plea to stop the hurt, and that he’s trying to help. Unfortunately, sometimes that plea falls on deaf ears many times. It’s great lyric work from the frontman, but the lyrics are only half of the equation. Furstenfeld sings every note how it should be sung. The subtle nuances of his changing emotions are audible throughout the whole of the song, and his emotion is chill inducing. Well done Mr. Furstenfeld, you are to be commended.
All in all, Bleed Out is a song that fantastically and brutally captures the emotion of pain and suffering that many of us feel during our lives. It’s a song about how those who are often closest to us can inflict the deepest wounds to our hearts and minds. The sense of empathy that comes with the song is reason enough to give it a listen, but it’s so well done musically that there really is no excuse. So give it a listen. It may be hard at first, but I think most will come out the other side feeling that this is a song that they can relate to on the deepest levels.
What did you think of the song and review? Let me know in the comments!