Romance in the modern century is commercialized nearly as much as everything else. Dating apps and couples TV has made everything more purchasable. So when I got my hands on “Craigslist Personals” by WRENN, that’s the first thing that came to mind; an ad for love.
But what I got was much more than that. But let’s get introductions out of the way first; WRENN is an alternative grunge-rock band based out of LA. Their Spotify bio reads “They play loud music and want everyone to get angry in a healthy way,” (which is pretty on-brand for the track). That attitude carries over to every facet of their work, whether it’s the evocative vocals that seem to slip between your ears or the clearly skilled balancing act of having so many moving parts on the track, “Craigslist Personals” reads to me as a snapshot of who WRENN is as a group. Back to the music–”Craigslist Personals” is the battle the narrator (who is the lead singer of WRENN) has with trying to move on and get over their past lover.
Three months gone now
Can you tell me/Have you let go?
Forcing ten thousand feet
You watch me
On your way home
I’d still be with you
If you’d just let me know.
The narrator may not be over this person yet–but they seem to be grappling with whether or not they should be getting over them. We’ve all been there; is it worth it to move on? Maybe they’ll come back, maybe I can do something to make it better–most of the time, this train of thought never goes anywhere. And WRENN’s narrator knows this.
It’s too late to start over so these days
If you pretend I’m not around
Can you pretend to hear me out?
In the chorus (and we’ll talk about how beautiful that chorus is) WRENN takes us through how they feel. Most of the time, it is too late to start over with someone. It’s far too late to explain to someone something after they’ve left, so we’re stuck with pretend arguments and daydream. The simple use of these ideas along with the stirring sounds behind it make “Craiglist Personals” far more powerful than the sum of its parts.
But the music–that’s why we’re all here, right?–the music is stunning. We’re led in with a dreamlike guitar strumming along with some digital rides and toms when the vocals come in. WRENN’s words lift over the beat in such an indistinct way it’s hard to articulate why they’re so powerful with this specific melody (besides the obvious ‘they were written together).
It’s a formless thing, but it’s a powerful one. But as we get comfortable to this churchlike symphony, somewhere around 1:10 that pressure grows and we’re dropped down into the majesty of WRENN–drums, guitar, vocals; WRENN explodes into what they truly think of the song. They flex their muscles and bring their heat. And after it all (somewhere around 1:43), we’re brought right back down to that smooth place (albeit with drums) and have moments to relax. It’s the type of song I’d like to scream from rooftops too. I won’t call “Craigslist Personals” elegant. I don’t think it would appreciate that–in fact, I don’t think they would see it as a compliment. I would call it passionate and genuine, authentic and unaffected. It speaks about what it wants to speak about and that’s all. But it does so in its own way. It touches a specific part of the human condition.
It’s good for the heart.
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