Sunday, 16 March 2014

Waiting on the world to change. . .

It was the first single off Mayer's 2008 album and also earned him the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal.  The laidback even-paced drum pattern from the outset seem to be a mismatch to the urgency of the lyrical content in this song.  The music video to John Mayer's Waiting on the world to change shows a group of artists working on commissioned pieces of art that are displayed in privately owned spaces (or produced on private property) around New York City.  The opening shots of the blank spaces around the city signal that later on in the video, those blank empty spaces will be filled with artwork.

As John strolls through the city, you get a sense that even with the the waiting, there is a degree of restlessness.  Normally when you get tired of waiting, you might start pacing the room or take a walk to clear your mind to kill some time while you're waiting.

Musically the song gets interesting for me after the second chorus with the instrumental interlude as it has a funky horn section giving a bit of ambience and jazz fusion, the vocal lead is hard to make out, but it's more about the vibe and the contrast that this section brings rather than the familiarity that precedes it.  The alternation between lead guitar solo and keyboard pick up the rest of the musical interlude before we head towards the end of the song.

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing
And there's no way we ever could

Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just don't feel like we have the means
To rise above and beat it 

Other lyrics that interest me in the song are the following lines:

It's hard to beat the system, when you're standing at a distance. . .

It's not that we don't care, we just know that the fight ain't fair

One day our generation, is gonna rule the population

The lines echo defeatist attitudes or the sense that there is little hope, that the world seems doomed.

What can we do to put a stop to this deficit thinking?

To beat the system, you need to be closer to it, and work from within. . .

If the fight ain't fair, make sure that the fight is fair.  Is a fight even necessary? (Recon can help. . .)

If our generation is to rule the population - what do we need to do to make sure it's done well?

You don't need to necessarily take songs at face value.

Because sometimes you can't wait on the world to change.
So you have to go ahead and change the world.