Right, the countdown has started and the 7th album (or 8th if you include the best of, Alchemy Vol.1) Clearview is done and soon ready to be dispatched all over the world (I think). D-4 (and counting down), depending on how you are actually counting… anyway, as I wrote on the band’s FB page, I have never been longing so much for an album to be released… and I am a newbie, I just got acquainted (March 2016) to Poets of the Fall… this is crazy, but so fun, you have no idea! But today, I’d like to talk about a song that gets me every time, tears, goose bumps and all. It is from the first album Signs of Life and it is called “Illusion & Dream.“
I have not seen Poets of the Fall live yet; it is thus something to look forward to when they can finally come to Sweden. In the meantime, I have the live DVD from 2013. Yeah, I know it is not the same, but it is better than nothing. There, Marko Saaresto introduces “Illusion & Dream” with:
“Do you believe in dreams? So do I. So thank you for believing in us for all these ten years.“
And if, like me, you have Alchemy Vol.1 you’d know that
“With Illusion and Dream [they] found [their] inner voice as musicians”.
And what a voice! I should add… figuratively and literally speaking…
The lyrics, of course, caught my soul first and then the music amplified their effect tenfolds.
The lyrics are quite harsh with our society, and yet very poetic in the way they depict our world. We are living – oh news flash – in a superficial world where all we care about are (among other things) appearances and popularity, in a nutshell. This is indeed a recurring theme in Poets of the Fall‘s songs. Whenever we conform, we tend to forget our dreams or what makes us tick. At the same time, we are served every day on a silver platter the illusion of having – or being able to attain – everything we want… do we actually want these illusions to be real? We are always given the answers, by bloodsuckers of some sort. It is the fate of mankind to choose the easy path, or is it really?
Blind in a world of make believe
Marko sings about the kind of despair that sneaks upon you and eat you up while you’re trying to grab on mirages that are not you. He wants people to wake up, in other words.
Illusion & Dream
This is how I understand the song… this is my perception, maybe a bit twisty… I don’t know.
We (humans) are following a current driven by other humans, more cunning, vicious even. We float down that path without ambition or genuine free will. Those with – or in want of – power are the puppeteers who trick us without showing any remorse or their true faces. Marko – as the band’s voice – is making some sort of statement and trying to – as I said – wake us up somehow. So, he sings that he does not pay attention to such frivolities and nonsense. He chose to close his mind to this and to exist in his own reality, the one he has built for himself I suppose. However, he’ll “snap out of it” whenever something real happens for good (or ill). This something being the trigger that erases the mirages in front of our eyes, therefore enabling us to understand that it’s not us. We let ourselves be lured and become people we are not; and we forget and we struggle… This song is so much more than just a critic of our society, so dig deeper, you’ll see.
Then, there is this below, that brings a smile to my face for so many reasons… mostly because it is so good. It transpires truth in so many ways and it is impossible not to feel familiar with what follows:
So can you name your demon?
Understand its scheming
I raise my glass and say “here’s to you”
Can you chase your demon?
Or will it take your freedom?
I raise my class and say “here’s to you”
I guess we all are our own demon somehow, so accept it, get it and be free… if you don’t, well, you’re kinda toast… or not, there is always hope after all. By the way, what does the last sentence mean? Here is what I figured, if you can’t “chase your demon“, either you’ll loose your freedom to it or, Marko‘ll probably ramble on and on the same song until you get it. That’s one way to interpret it, wouldn’t you say?
Ultimately, the most important message behind Illusion & Dream, could be that we need to stop being fooled by conformity, normality and to start listening to our inner voice. We need to believe in ourselves and in our own dreams. Rings any bell?
I am a bit like Poets of the Fall, I could ramble on forever about this… but that’s it for today!