Peering through a living room window you see a family arguing, a disagreement so well-worn it rivals the beat-up furniture scattered around the room. The girl, a teenager, stomps her foot and runs upstairs. She looks as if she has given up.
When I listened to the song. “Take It Back” I thought about family drama.
This could be off the mark, because although the song is intimate, and its words bare, many different interpretations can be taken from it.
At its core however, is definitely an argument – one that the singer feels it is not worth participating in any longer.
I imagine it is a dad, disapproving of his daughter. Maybe a stepfather who feels challenged by her and how she is growing up and no longer following his orders and rules. There is a sense in the song that the singer is being restricted by something; something is keeping her in this depressing situation.
I don’t know how to take it back
Wearing a smile but caving fast
Serve it up on a silver plate
I hope it goes well.
For me, the thing she doesn’t know how to “take back” is the action or words that are unforgivable. The smile she wears is to hide her true feelings while she lives in the house. “I hope it goes well” shows that she is planning on leaving the house.
She also sings,
Sooner or later I will be losing your favor
It feels cold in your corner now that I am older.
This line I interpreted as her reflecting that the family member she disagrees with has fought with her more as she has gotten older. This may be because she has gotten her own ideas and her own will to fight back. The artist fears that with age she is losing her innocence and her excuses, and so she will be less accepted.
She challenges this person,
Peel back the layers of my skin
I am one of them.
For me, this is her saying that even though she may look like an outcast, if you look inside her it is undeniable that she belongs in this family.
That is why, even when she seems to be dismissing them, there is still a sense that she has to return to them. She is tethered to them forever by her familial bonds.
This is probably why there are notes of downtrodden-ness and also hope in Mini Trees voice. She is laying all of her emotions on the line, bare for listeners to hear in their raw pure form.
Sonically, there are levels of intimacy to the song. It feels like the vocals move up and fall back; she starts with a grand floatiness, then moves on to speaking close to listener’s ears, then on to a medium range that has a prancing, steady quality to it.
The steadiness, however, does not reassure listeners, but rather shows a static-ness in Mini Tree’s situation – it increases listeners unease that she will not leave this poisonous situation.
One of the hints at this song taking place in a household is that it starts off with a chiming noise that resembles a doorbell, and following that chiming there are stomps that sound like foots steps, coming to greet you.
When the door is opened, you get the sense that you are welcomed into Mini Tress thoughts and feelings, but not into this house. This is a house where you need to belong, a house where the people are protective of their bonds and secrets.
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