02 March 2008

"synchronicity ii" || the police || 1983

I'm trying a new section in the bottom of the blog, where I inform you where you can purchase a copy of the day's track, i.e. what album or compilation it appears on. I don't want to promote the purchase of music from any certain media outlet, so I probably won't post direct sales links to online music stores unless items are only available specifically from one company. You probably already have a favorite place to shop for music, and I'm not trying to lure you to another site. I will, however, always include a "buy it here" link if the item is available for sale directly from the artist on their website, as I firmly believe that music should be purchased that way whenever possible. I've also added a new link list of sites that I find useful when shopping for music, and you may employ them at your own discretion.

Any feedback on these changes would be most appreciated.

This song forced tears to the backs of my eyes the first time I heard it. To call it hauntingly beautiful sounds almost insulting, as I don't know that it was Sting's intention to write a song about haunting beauty. It's an extremely powerful insight into the philosophical theory mentioned in the title, and it's sure to leave you with a spine tingle and a cold chill or two.

The theory of synchronicity, as I understand it, explains that sometimes two events occur simultaneously but very distantly, and that the fact that they're synchronous has meaning. For example (and please bear with me, as I'm making this up, quite literally, as I type), imagine that I get out of my bed here one day to go for a run, only to throw on my iPod and discover that its hard drive has died. Now imagine a woman in Seattle who's just discovered that her boyfriend is cheating on her. She's furious, and is throwing all of his CDs out the window of their apartment and they're smashing on the street below. Now, of course, I don't know this woman in Seattle. We're miles apart; we've never met. She doesn't know who I am or even that I exist. But my iPod crashed at the same moment that her boyfriend's CDs are being destroyed. Synchronously, we're both losing our music, and that makes the theory of synchronicity applicable here.

Now of course the connection between events in question is almost never this blatant, but you get the idea, right?

The lyrics of this track present members of a "suburban family" who are miserable. The father hates his repetitive life and his family & job make him miserable. The mother threatens suicide as a call for help to the others, but they think she's full of crap. The grandmother won't shut up. As this picture is painted, we're also thrown brief glimpses of a lake in Scotland, from which a nondescript creature is rising.

The song is quick and driving, almost to the point of fury, which gives it a sense of immediacy, discomfort, and recklessness. I love that the song has no conclusion, as I feel any ending to this story would have been a disappointment. Instead, we're left to ponder what will become of both family and creature.

I hope you now understand why the adjectives "haunting and beautiful" are applicable yet are mere litotes when trying to describe the lyrical contents of this song.

"Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration / But we all know her suicides are fake"

If a more potent lyric were ever written in a song, I've yet to find it.

Listen to it here.

Available On:
The PoliceA & M RecordsB0009080-22 x CD
Synchronicity IIA & M RecordsCD 3735CD