#179 – Hey Jealousy


Artist – Gin Blossoms
Album – New Miserable Experience
Year – 1992
Genre – Alternative Rock

There’s just something about 90’s alt rock singers. They have this true sense of sadness and honesty in their voices. This is truly a decade of music that I truly relate to and adore. Gin Blossoms are one of those groups that truly impress me with the sheer romantic and lonely emotion packed within each of their songs. Their songs are the kind you listen to when you’re feeling a bit down, and “Hey Jealousy” is at the top of the list. A man trying to escape from the pain of his own loneliness is something that really tugs at the heartstrings, but great pop hooks and lyrics aside, singer Robin Wilson’s wavering and sad voice seals the deal here.

The opening riff is just great. It’s got that 90’s grit, but is catchy enough to hook you right into the song. You can tell the whole band is into it. Wilson’s voice is the star of this show, though. His voice has that perfect waver in it, as if throughout the whole song he’s on the verge of crying. Although he didn’t write the song himself, you can feel him making himself open and vulnerable from beginning to end, because he relates to the words and has put himself into that mindset. But seriously, the lyrics in this song are just absolutely heart wrenching.

As the first verse picks up speed, it closes with these words:

You were the best I’d ever had
If I hadn’t blown the whole thing years ago
I might not be alone

I just have to remember to breathe after those lines. They’re just so on the emotional mark, with the delivery and everything. The anguish and regret at missing an opportunity because of our own fears of rejection and self consciousness are the some of the largest sources of pain and loneliness in life. Regret is a powerful feeling, and the feeling that we’re to blame for our own loneliness…that’s truly emotionally taxing and the cause of some of the saddest moments we face. The fact that we’re unloved because we held ourselves back or screwed up is hard to deal with in any case. Wilson just absolutely kills this feeling in his singing. That last line in particular is just so well done.

The chorus really hits that hope that things might still work out at some point. If you just recapture that recklessness and danger of young love again, it might just work out.

Hey Jealousy

These two words hold so much potency. We don’t like to feel jealous, and we often try to shut the feelings away, because it’s seen as a negative emotion that others look down upon. But as a good friend once told me, don’t abandon what you feel and try to bury it. We’re all human beings, and to be jealous is to be human. Sometimes it shows you truly care about something. It’s perfectly natural to feel that way. It’s a bummer, but we all know the feeling too well. You can feel Wilson trying to bury the feeling as he sings it each time, but it’s just a natural part of life and a powerful thing to feel.

The next verse is just crushing:

If you don’t expect too much from me
You might not be let down
Cause all I really want is to be with you
Feeling like I matter too
If I hadn’t blown the whole thing years ago
I might be here with you

Those middle two lines especially:

Cause all I really want is to be with you
Feeling like I matter too

They’re just so beautiful and forlorn, and Wilson’s singing reflects that. The feeling that we have to matter to SOMEONE in our lives in a romantic way to be complete is something we all feel, and usually it’s a particular someone we have in mind. I myself find it hard to believe that I was put here to live for myself. I think we find true happiness within others, and they bring out the best in us. That’s what love does. Without that, it’s really hard sometimes to find happiness on your own. We’re kind of conditioned to think that way, but it truly is harder than it looks to be alone. We want to feel like we matter too.

The whole band is right in with the passion of the song, and every part feels right in place. This is a true gem of a song, and I’m so thankful that a song like this was written. It’s a very emotional experience to listen to, and I hope everyone can get some solace from it. Remember, you’re not alone out there.

Thanks for reading and listening everyone! Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!