The first word of Modern Leisure’s song “Never Got The Buzz” is “Love”.
Then there is a beat for a nice inhale.
And bitterness spews out in the exhale.
The song feels like it is being sung by an awkward, gangly guy in the corner of a party, nursing a warm cup of beer. He is thinking about his recently failed relationship. He has basically labeled his past lover a “party pooper”, but now finds himself occupying that role in his life.
There is a bopping sad tone to the song, but also a casual one. In a way it resembled the intro song for The Office. Perhaps this resemblance is rooted in the song’s use of bells, a chipper instrument echoing a downtrodden message. Everything is very downplayed in the song. Agony peeks through the singer’s voice but does not shine through. Everything being downplayed could be attributed to the singer’s blasé attitude, and his message that he is so over it.
In listening to this song, I wondered, is it worth remembering the good memories of a relationship if they only hurt you now?
Modern Leisure explains, “You always forget the fun you had. Oh, return to once again.” I interpreted this as them setting the stage for this being about a past love, which they now remember bitterly.
They sing, “But you never got the buzz and I never tried to cling too much.” This shows that even when their lover was in the relationship, they were not fully into it, and the singer let that happen because he was so self-conscious about being “clingy”.
Then he sings, “It’s not too late for both of us.” This surprises listeners because up to this point it was a relationship set in the past. Is the singer asking for another try with this lover, or musing that he could find love in general? He juggles an over-it attitude and the sentiment that it is “Not too late.” He is now: “With and without the need to roam.”
He is lost after losing his love, he doesn’t even know how to start coping, or how to start living.
He sings, “Drink to forget you naked in my home.” This is the first positive memory we are made privy to. Then he says, “She’s on the phone to me. She’s on a plane to come to see. It all comes back so suddenly.” These are other happy memories I suppose, but this shows the distance between the couple. When they were together and happy they were distant. This also could reflect hopes of the future, that she will come back to him.
“But the feeling gets away, well I’m in your dreams but not today. The side of good always remains.”
The side of good is the good memories, but they go away because they do not dominate his mind in the aftermath.
“So get your kicks while you are young, dumb in lust. There’s not too much that you could say about that stuff. But I was home to a certain type of a love. Yes, we were home to certain type of love”
They were in a certain type of love, not complete love, just a certain type of it. It was conditional love.
Modern Leisure is moving on, dragging this past relationship with them. With each bump in the road, they see more of the pleasant memories fall away to reveal glimpses of how doomed it was all along.
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