A Failure Playlist #2: Unreliable Narrators

Text placeholder.jpg

My series continues with the second playlist on a theme inspired by a song on the new album; this time, to complement "Not A Lot Of Blood," we're looking at unreliable narrators. It took a lot of restraint not to just post twenty Randy Newman songs. What are your favorite songs in which you can't trust the singer?

With the rarest of exceptions, any song I've written from the depths of misery are awful. I look at them the next day, and I realize I sound completely insufferable.

On a few occasions, I've attempted to salvage the garbage by making the cringeworthiness a feature rather than a bug. I lean into the fact that the narrator of the song is unpleasant, nasty, self-obsessed, and make that lack of self-awareness the point.

I started writing "Not a Lot of Blood" to help explain and perhaps redeem some ugly things I'd done in the past. Listening back, I realized I was just making myself sound worse (probably because the things I'd done weren't really justifiable). So I tried to make this explicit - "Don't say I'm bad; I'm not. I've got blood on my hands, but not a lot" (It didn't make me feel any better, but at least it's a better song).

The song ended up as a sequel of sorts to "Coming Up Roses" and "I've Always Been Faithful" from my first record: two songs that also feature a deeply unpleasant character who thinks he's kind of fantastic.

It's kind of worrying that this is becoming a bit of a signature...