#168 – Dismantle. Repair.


Artist – Anberlin
Album – Cities
Year – 2007
Genre – Alt. Punk/Alternative Rock

I’ve been feeling the absence of Anberlin in my life now that the band has decided to call it quits and retire. Just going through their back catalog, I’m rediscovering just how great this band was and what talented musicians and songwriters they were. “Dismantle. Repair.” is not just a fan favorite, its’ one of my favorites as well, so I figured that I should let everyone else in on this beautiful gem of a song.

The echoing guitar sets the tone, and frontman Stephen Christian’s voice smoothly drifts across the noise and gives everything that emotional edge. His melodies are well constructed throughout, and soon enough the whole band kicks in with a prechorus that you’ll hear throughout the song, but that never seems to get old.

Enter some fast paced drumming and more ear catching work from the guitars and from Christian. After this next prechorus, we finally hear the bread and butter of this song which is the glorious chorus.

Hands, like secrets, are the hardest thing to keep from you
Lines and phrases, like knives, your words can cut me through
Dismantle me down (repair)
You dismantle me
You dismantle me

First of all, those lyrics are extremely well written, and Christian’s voice just adds a whole sense of anguish every time he sings them. This isn’t a love song. This is a song about someone at their lowest; someone who was put there by someone else. You really get that sense from a chorus of this magnitude. The melody here is a huge hook, and it’s a good thing because you’ll hear this chorus a lot.

The next next verse features some great harmonies and some driving guitar to give it some extra bravado, and to cap it off, the end screams from Christian will give you chills as it rolls right into the next chorus. You can imagine how crazy a song like this would be in a live setting. There’s a lot of layers in that chorus, and one of my favorite parts is the ascending guitar line that you can hear in the background. That’s some great work.

The bridge is by far the most beautiful, personal, and chilling part of the song. The lyrics are fairly simple:

Save me from myself
Save me from myself
Help me save me from myself
Save me from myself

This melody is so incredibly beautiful as the notes fall. Christian’s ghostly delivery gives you the impression he’s singing out of a lot of pain and sadness, almost with his eyes closed and his head in his hands. It’s truly the best aspect of the song, and I only wish it was a repeated motif. There’s a huge amount of honesty here. This is a man who’s putting it all out for the subject of this song to hear and see.

Because of this, the choruses that follow (opening with a great snare roll) seem to have even more bravado as Christian roars “REPAIR” and the band slams on the gas until the very end. This is a song designed to both create a drive in you, and to show how vulnerable a man can be. That’s a tricky balance to pull off. Mission: successful.

This song may not be Anberlin’s most popular, but it certainly is one of their most powerful offerings. After listening, hopefully you can see why it’s such a big fan favorite, and one of mine as well.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave me your thoughts below. Until next time.


One thought on “#168 – Dismantle. Repair.

  1. Kris, Beautiful Words and haunting melodies are the not so secret ingredients that go into a great song. I like that you have gone out of your way using your own words to bring this song to our attention. All artists on are a search to connect the meaningfulness of their art with that of the human heart, (that thing we love with). When it happens it can become a deeply personal, moving, and joyous experience, it discovers a meaningfulness that transcends our routines. Keep on Thinking free, Paul

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