Song of the Day: “Inside Out”

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For today’s Song of the Day, I’d like to go back and revisit one of my favorite bands, Spoon. One of the pleasures of writing about music is the ability to share bands and songs that you feel deserve to be shown off. And with Spoon, the only difficulty I faced when I sat down to write this, was which song to choose.

When you’re faced with a difficult decision, and when the stakes are relatively low, the best thing you can do is to follow your gut. Or heart, instincts, intuition, whatever you want to call it. So that’s also what I did with “Inside Out”, which comes from Spoon’s eighth album, “They Want My Soul”.

“Inside Out”

There are a couple ways you can interpret “Inside Out”, but before we look at interpreting anything, we need some evidence from the lyrics. So let’s take a look at a few from the first verse.

“Time’s gone inside out / Time gets distorted when / There’s intense gravity / I don’t got time for holy rollers / Though they may wash my feet / And I won’t be their soldier”.

Now, some people may look at this and see religious criticism, with the mention of “Holy rollers” and washing feet. But I’d like to propose a different interpretation, one that looks at the holy rollers as fans of the band. What I think the lead vocalist Britt Daniels is saying here is that he won’t be a slave to the whims of his fans, no matter how loyal they are.

The bit about time going inside out seems to be a reference to aging. Daniels is 47 now, and over the hump of his mid-life. I think he’s referring to his perception of time, and how it’s changed since he’s aged. The “intense gravity”, however, may be another reference to the weight of popularity, and the attention and demands of fans.

So if “Inside Out” is a song referring to the fans, who is it directed toward? Throughout the song there’s a reference to “You”, who we can safely assume is Daniels’ significant other. As with many songs, at its heart, “Inside Out” is a love song. If you don’t want to take my word for it, just look at the last two lines of the song.

“Mmm, there’s only you I need / They do not make me complete”.

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