#136 – Jesus/Jesus Christ

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Artist – Brand New
Album – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Year – 2006
Genre – Alternative Punk/Emo

Ahhhh, I can hear it now. The voices of ten thousand Brand New fans saying, “Oh so you picked their most famous song to review. Pff, how cliche of you.” Well, there is a reason I picked it. And there is a reason why it is their most famous and (arguably) their most popular. And those reasons are one in the same. It’s fucking incredible. This is songwriting at it’s absolute best, especially for this genre. “Jesus,” also known as “Jesus Christ” (just realized how weird that sounded) is a song that touches all aspects of loneliness, isolation, and depression, but the very darkness of the song is what listeners can cling to in their moments of solitude. It’s a song for all who are hurting, and that’s why it resonates so deeply. That’s why I picked it.

The forlorn and soft strumming sets a mood. It’s a mood of sadness. You can feel it in both the underlying guitar and the overlaying guitar melody. It’s a gentle opening, but a somber one to be sure, and it paints a scene you can feel from the first note.

Instrumentally, the song stays relatively simple for the beginning. The real bread and butter of the song lies in two things. One are the lyrics, which I will cover in a bit. The second thing is frontman Jesse Lacey’s vocal delivery and singing.

Lacey sings unlike anyone I’ve ever heard. Each word is labored and perfectly reflects the true sense of loneliness and sadness he feels. Lacey’s voice is not perfect, but it’s the whispers and little wavers that make him human, just like us. That’s how we feel everything he sings. However, that doesn’t mean the song isn’t melodic. The melody is very well written despite the subtlety of it all.

The interlude/chorus section has some haunting vocal harmonies which will chill you to the core. The whispered voices sound like wind through the trees.

The power picks up at the end of the song, with all instruments and vocals reaching one cathartic climax. Lacey and fellow guitarist/vocalist Vincent Accardi demand to be heard as they go from beautiful harmonies to screaming their lungs out. This is a true release of pent up pain and suffering, and it cuts you. After the peak, the song drifts back down to the opening gentility until the track ends. Perhaps this is a sign of moving past the darkness and overcoming, perhaps a sign of regression and repetition. Brand New leaves it up to you.

You’ll never hear lyrics like these again:

Do you believe you’re missin’ out
That everything good is happening somewhere else?
But with nobody in your bed
The night’s hard to get through

And I will die all alone
And when I arrive I won’t know anyone

Well, Jesus Christ, I’m alone again
So what did you do those three days you were dead?
’cause this problem’s gonna last more than the weekend.

This is poetic honesty. To be honest with you, I relate so much to this song at this point in my life that literally every word reflects my own state of mind. It’s certainly not the happiest of places, but God is it beautiful. I truly believe anyone going through heartache and loneliness can find some solace in the words that have been written here.

This song has the ability to take those who are tired, sad, and lonely, and wrap them up in a blanket of comfort for a while. This is what music can do. I didn’t put all the lyrics here, because I want you to hear them for yourself. This song becomes a different personal experience for everyone. That’s why this song is so important. That’s why I picked it.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Just a heads up, the next thing you’ll see me post on this blog is big, and completely different from everything I’ve done before! It’s going to be awesome, and I hope you guys really enjoy it and get something out of it. As always, likes, comments, follows and shares are much appreciated. I highly suggest you jump on the ol’ 1001 Songs bandwagon now, because I have big things coming in the near future!

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