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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.

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.





SowingSeason
05.05.19
The band created two albums better than this one, but this is my favorite song by them. Sorry for bringing politics into it, but that's what this song means to me and it's what gives it such an important stature in my mind.

luci
05.05.19
great analysis. this song is so melodically compelling that you can fall in love with it without paying attention to the words. but it's certainly elevated by the dual meaning of the personal vs the political.

SowingSeason
05.05.19
ha, funny you should be the first to comment because you were the one who told me about their fallout with Nicole (I never followed the band that closely until recently). Prior to your enlightenment I thought this was a straight-up anti-Trump song lol.

Chambered79
05.05.19
Keep churning these out today!

SowingSeason
05.05.19
This is the only one I've done today but I've been trying to do one a day - or every other day - until I'm back on track. It's May and I'm only 1/3 of the way.

Chambered79
05.05.19
Still expecting to see eyesore her

xAshtrayux
05.19.19
Thank you for writing about this song. I listened to it and fell in love. It seems like it's one of their best.
I gave their discography a spin and seems like I enjoy Always Foreign more than Harmlessness (though it also has it's moments and is quite lovely).

I don't know much about the band breakup drama (the info on the net is so scattered), but it does seem like the song must at least be about some kind of serious political disagreement. It can't just be about personal issues.

SowingSeason
05.19.19
I much prefer Harmlessness as a full album, but no individual tracks there stand out to the extent of "Faker" for me.

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