Many people like to view the world in black or white, even for little things such as assuming how open people feel comfortable being around them. Just because someone can be an open book to you at times doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to give you their all. These small assumptions can ruin relationships once they are taken the wrong way, which is why it’s always healthy to set boundaries and standards for yourself. Through an easy-listening, alternative-rock sound, Brian in the Museum has brought this message to the forefront by clearly listing out his feelings towards this topic with “I Got Nothing for You.”
Starting off with all cylinders firing, the song hits you straight through a wall of sound consisting of a standard lineup of guitars, bass and drums. As the guitars both hold down the fuzzy rhythm and provide a solid lead melody, the drums keep steady with the bassline in order to push everything forward. Without wasting any time, singer Brian Halloran begins singing in a style which almost perfectly meshes with the instruments. Altogether, the song has a sound very reminiscent of something performed by The Strokes in the mid-2000s, especially in the way that the vocal melody blends throughout the tune without taking much resting time. There isn’t much for musical movements throughout the song, which keeps pretty steady at what it starts out as, but the standard lineup of instruments is joined by an organ which helps strengthen the backbone of everything.
Looking into the lyrical content of the song, we can gather the gist of everything pretty early on thanks to the song’s title. Being titled, “I Got Nothing for You,” and starting out with a list of lyrics such as, “Here’s my height, Here’s my weight, Here’s my average mental state,” we can pretty easily connect the dots as to where the song is going with its message. Halloran continues listing off information he can offer to the listener, but eventually everything culminated with the lines, “If you just need a friend, I can be that too / If you gotta have it all, I got nothing for you.” Simply put, Halloran can offer up many things, but once it gets to the point where a relationship or person needs all of those things from him, he’s going to back off and offer nothing.
While the song continues strongly until it finally fades, the message continues on in my head. Although clearly not the most complex set of lyrics, the song takes what it has and makes it work. Not every piece of writing needs to use imagery, symbolism, or have a double meaning. With “I Got Nothing for You,” we get an incredibly straightforward message that works because of the weight behind it. The instrumentation doesn’t necessarily show off in any one area, but I believe that is because it is keeping such a solid backing for the vocals which are ultimately delivering the message. All in all, Brian in the Museum has definitely captured a nostalgic sound with a pertinent message with “I Got Nothing for You.”