The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die – “Faker”
I can’t shake the feeling that “Faker” was always meant to be political on some level. I understand that it was in all likelihood written about their ex-bandmate Nicole (is anyone actually dense enough to sing “I never dreamed that you wouldn’t keep your word” about a political figure?), but outside of a few obvious flags, this could easily be an indictment of current American leadership, as well as the sad state of affairs across the world in general. I mean, just read the opening set of lyrics:
Will you be faking it when the businesses fail, and your money is revealed for what it is?
Will you be faking it when it’s safer to joke, and the laughter’s seen on screens in silence?
Will you be faking it when we’re tied to the tracks, denying that there’s rope around our wrists?
Will you be faking it when they’re rounding us up, and your sources all assure it’s just a test?
Tell yourself again, “Nothing is wrong with this place.”
There’s a lot going on just in those five lines – devaluing of currency, ignorance, fascism, and denial. For me, that’s what gives “Faker” staying power as one of the decade’s most important barometers of the post-2016 political climate. There’s something about the twinkly emo instrumentals and calm vocal delivery that makes all these accounts feel frighteningly ordinary; as if these terrifying truths are the new normal.
Of course, this is one man’s interpretation. Politics aside, “Faker” is still the perfect “fuck you” of an emo-rock anthem, and halfway through – when the song kicks it up a notch with a faster wave of electric guitars – it goes from a good song to an amazing one. Right before it shifts gears, the lines, Faker, if there is a hell, you’ve done what you need to do / If there is a hell, it’s ready and waiting for you send chills up your spine. It feels like the retaliation: So are we awake yet?
Next come depictions of flags burning, fires in the street, and the crumbling of entire belief systems. Tell me again that this song is just about a grudge with an old bandmate, and I’ll say “yeah, on the surface perhaps” – but “Faker” is clearly a song with a much broader aim. And for that reason I’ll always respect its subtle message, as well as the impeccable delivery of one of the best emo-rock songs of the last 10 years.