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Music Monday – Brand New – Jesus Christ

04/25/2011

Brand New’s “Jesus Christ” reminds me of the rain.

The first time I heard this song I was driving home from community college in a pouring rain storm. I remember listening to the lyrics and trying to decide if it was being blasphemous or not. In later years a classmate introduced me to Brand New as a band, specifically their album “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me”, which is one of the best albums I’ve ever listened to.

One of the websites I read regularly is Mockingbird, which looks at art and theology through some interesting perspectives. They recently posted an article called “Brand New’s Jesus Christ and Self Knowledge”. As much as I like the music of Brand New, especially their two most recent albums, lyrically they have always been a mixed bag. They are nowhere near as profound as they think they are, but they still manage to hit some primal truths and emotions in their writing. This article was a good look at just what the band means with this song:

In the song “Jesus Christ” (video and lyrics below) Brand New front-man Jesse Lacey is compelled by loneliness and fear of the afterlife to reconcile what he knows about himself with what he knows about Christianity. He is unflinchingly honest about himself: Lacey lives an erratically lonely life and knows that it will ultimately end alone. He suggests that if his salvation depends on his ability to accept or reject Jesus, then Lacey rightly knows that he will reject him every time. Whatever good he may have in his life, he knows that his “bright is too slight to hold back all my dark” and that “this ship went down in sight of land”. Lacey knows that if Good Friday were to happen again, he would crucify Jesus again. There’s a deeply Christian insight here about the bound nature of humanity and its hopeless estate.

I highly recommend Brand New’s album “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.” There is a passion and energy in their music that few bands have, as well as an artistry that takes some getting used to but is highly rewarding.

“Jesus Christ” by Brand New

Jesus Christ, that’s a pretty face
The kind you’d find on someone that could save
If they don’t put me away,
It’ll be a miracle
Do you believe you’re missing out?
That everything good is happening somewhere else
With nobody in your bed,
The night is hard to get through

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

Jesus Christ, I’m alone again
So what did you do those three days you were dead?
Because this problem is going to last
More than the weekend
Jesus Christ, I’m not scared to die
But I’m a little bit scared of what comes after
Do I get the gold chariot
Or do I float through the ceiling

Or do I divide and pull apart
Because my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark
And this ship went down in sight of land
And at the gates does Thomas ask to see my hands?

I know you’re coming in the night like a thief
But I’ve had some time, O Lord, to hone my lying technique
I know you think that I’m someone you can trust
But I’m scared I’ll get scared and I swear I’ll try to nail you back up
So do you think that we could work out a sign
So I’ll know it’s you and that it’s over so I won’t even try
I know you’re coming for the people like me
But we all got wood and nails
And we turn, turn-out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we turn, turn-out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we sleep inside of this machine

BONUS Brand New…a clip from another song, used in an episode of Stargate Universe! I dig this guitar part so much…

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