Just Movement is Much More Than It Sounds

[Editor’s Note: Bryan wrote this back when the site was brand new and just launched. It somehow never got posted, but it’s a great look at an interesting album and topic, so check it out]

Let’s rewind a bit to 2013.

Never before had I heard music made by a custom programmed analog gaming joystick, until I landed on this sweet live video [below] on Philly local (and all that sadly remains of my FM radio adolescence, Y100) ynotradio. My interest and enjoyment of watching this dude rock out to an instantly catchy beat was enough to reel me in to listen multiple times, the way that LCD Soundsystem’s Dance Yrself Clean does. The album as a whole continues this trend with addictive beats reminiscent of Foster the People’s Torches.

From a purely musical listen, Just Movement provides a handful of party starting anthems, namely the single “Global Concepts.” But this album seems to rather ironically, dig deeper than just hoping to entrance your body to movement. At a closer listen, and considering the lyrics, DeLong, himself is looking for more than a physical response from his audience. Last year at the age of 27, Robert DeLong’s current age and the “cursed” age that swallowed the likes of Jim Morrison and the rest of the 27 Club, I found myself quite intrigued to listen in to this album, which was seemingly seeking just what I had started seriously looking for during my 27th year; the purpose to life and all the existential questions any 20-something, post college/pre-family human might begin to ponder.

The Tower of Babel. The absence of our desires.

And I saw nothing in the dark
and found that the absence was perfect.
I climbed outside of God’s house
and found that the absence was perfect.
I took to much all at once
and found that the absence was perfect.
Saw nothing perfect in love
and found that the absence was perfect.

Happy, with vocals harkening to that of The Faint,

“Few Years Make”

I gave god up to rationale
I met him knocking on my door
I’ll die and tell him I don’t know you
You never called me back

I’ve always appreciated songs that seem to rapid fire lyrical references to the listener, think Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire and REM’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It, and on Few Years Make, DeLong tries his hand at this. The interesting thing is that though each of these three tracks is instantly catchy and enjoyable to listen to, the lyrics are less than uplifting. Here we find our narrator seemingly retelling a somber life story, one with some common attempts at finding earthly happiness, and afterwards ending with an unfortunately popular distance and seemingly fruitless pursuit of a God that so many seem to WANT to find.


“Religious Views”

Be not afraid, it’s just a game.

I’ll allow myself to consider this idea every now and again. To consider that there just simply isn’t an afterlife. No reincarnation. No God. No Heaven or Hell. Nothing. This life here is simply all we have. To this concept, it becomes an excuse to some to just squander all the money and possessions possible and experience any and all taboos. After all, if THIS is IT, those who can surf on their wealth Scrooge McDuck style have indeed won The Game of Life, stepping on everyone below them on their way to the top. But to me this would have to be a sad and lonely ending to an even sadder existence. One that really gives no resolve to the purpose of humankind at all. What are we working towards as a species? Why do we continue to advance, if we are just going to vanish one day for nothing?

“Complex by Degree”

It’s not killing that made us different; It’s not love that made us different…

Well, that’s quite contrary to what the bible teaches us. All the way back to Cain and Abel, that’s precisely what makes us different. The existence of sin, pride and shame, and the absence of love is what led Cain to commit history’s first ever murder, that of his own brother, Abel.

“Survival of the Fittest” and “Basically, I”

DeLong as this album comes to a close considers again how to survive in this world, with a sarcastic, and exhausted viewpoint. His exhaustion seems to him to be justified. At the final moments of “Survival of the Fittest” and transitioning into “Basically, I” Robert DeLong repeats “we’re gonna die” a very realistic concern that we will all consider at some point, especially to those who frequent the YOLO mantra (and to those YOLOers check out Blindside’s similar, but more uplifting view on the topic). Just after reminding us of our fate, DeLong asks “does this change how you feel?” and challenges us to consider what we will do with this knowledge.

He follows this up quite naturally with our next inquisition: “basically, I want to know [about everything] where we’re going.” I have repeated to myself quite frequently this past year the scriptural instruction to “seek and you will find,” (Matthew 7:7 [ESV]) a line that gives me hope on the days that I allow myself to get caught trying to find answers that I don’t necessarily need to find. Though, you may ask yourself, “if I’m wearing myself out tirelessly pondering the meaning to everything that happens in life, aren’t I doing what scripture instructs?,” to this you can offer yourself the peace of knowing that what you are to continue to seek is simply Jesus and not the answers to every other question. This verse in Matthew mimics Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me,” but it adds a clause to this “…when you seek me with all your heart.” [ESV] God will reveal to us, what we need to see and know, when the time is right, but only if we are seeking and believing without doubt.

To Robert, all pondering 20-somethinger’s and to any other readers, keep seeking.

Delong SXSW

Bryan Howell
Site Design / Blog Contributer
Bryan is a graphic designer and all around awesome dude living in the Philly metro area. He designed the original logo for the site (picture below) and much of the layout. He's talented and we're very lucky to have him.
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