****** Where to begin? This song stood out to me on first listen to the album, with the title line in the chorus being the thing to stick with me after the album was over. And it only continued to grow on me more and more throughout the year as I fell in love with everything it contains. I became quite obsessed with this for a while, listening to it constantly and challenging myself to learn all the lyrics correctly so I could sing along perfectly, which I finally managed after many, many listens. While the piano melody is gorgeous and fits the tone of the song perfectly, this song is really all about the lyrics, and there are a lot of them. The first verse feels so nostalgic and full of reminisces, and Matt sells this so naturally in his vocal. <br><br>The second verse as a whole is my favourite; it was the one which initially began to make me fall in love with the song. There are so many cultural references in the verse, which each provided a reference point for memory and something to easily recall after the song was over. As a result, this was the first verse I was able to memorise (aside from its opening line, which was actually the last thing in the song I knew the exact lyrics of; I was never quite sure what they were until I looked it up). I also find a feeling of joy more than nostalgia in this verse; lines like "First Testament was really great, the sequel was incredible" feel so joyful and Matt sells this so well in his delivery, particularly on "incredible". The ascension on the lines "Infidels and Heartbreak Beats" and "must have left it in my pocket with my Christianity and my rocket" also offers a feeling of joy (and I'm counting the latter as a Simpsons reference too, so bonus points!). The repeated "n" sounds in "I'm binging hard on Annette Bening" are also delightful.<br><br>Following the second chorus comes something so unexpected: what sounds like a hymn. At first I found this to be too radical a shift and didn't enjoy this portion of the track at all, but over time I began to appreciate it. The lyrics are nice, but what I like most about it is the way it breaks the track up. It's such a wordy song, and as I noticed more when I began to learn all the lyrics and sing along while I listened, the constant barrage of words is quite intense. Something was needed to break that up, because there's four long verses of words, words, words. This creates a nice change-up without going too far away from what the song is doing. The vocalists all sound beautiful as well.<br><br>The third verse seems to up the intensity levels, both lyrically and melodically. A touch of violin increases the mood, and an increase in pace of the delivery of the lyrics adds a new kind of energy. The vocal delivery on "I raked the leaves and I started fires" is just perfect and feels like it's offering a real insight into the feeling of desperation the lyrics here are offering. I love the line "it's half your fault so half forgive me" which is both amusing and clever, but it's topped by my favourite song lyric of the year, which comes near the end of the verse: "My mother needs an army but I'm leaving home and I'm scared that I won't have the balls to punch a Nazi". The alliteration of "way" sounds in "I always wake up way before the weather" is also delightful.<br><br>The final verse offers a return to more reminisces and a feeling of wistful nostalgia. It's a gorgeous verse and Matt hits just the right note of reminiscing with fondness, yet missing the old feelings. While he's telling the story of his father's skate getting caught in the ice, his words feel like they're dripping with importance, and yet he's quickly able to shift tone into something more akin to feeling awestruck at listening to Roberta Flack. The lyrics conjure up some vivid imagery for me, in particular the line about his father driving home, which reminds me of many family car trips we took during my childhood. I never liked them at the time, but now I think back fondly on those times. "It's half your fault so half forgive me" makes a welcome return; it's such a good line that using it a second time only makes me appreciate it more.<br><br>Following the last verse we head back to the hymnal sound. The ladies again deliver a beautiful vocal, and though I used to skip this portion of the song at first, once I was singing along to the entire song, I again found this necessary. While there are no more verses to follow, so this isn't breaking those up the way the choir sound did earlier, the last two verses feel so intense that the necessity of this comes as a moment to wind down and even reflect on the journey that was.<br><br>So, I love this song. During the time when I was learning the lyrics and listening to it nonstop, I was more obsessed with this song than I have been about a song for a very long time. I wouldn't change a thing about it. Matt's voice and vocal work is breathtakingly brilliant, and he's able to make even the most bizarre of lyrics sound meaningful and captivating. The instruments all play their parts perfectly, fitting the mood of the song brilliantly and not overbearing the lyrics in any way. The choir sound lovely, and their sections feel very necessary. I would never have predicted that my favourite song of the year would feature hymns, but here we are. Aside from that, the song clocks in at over six and a half minutes in length, but at no time does it feel like it's wearing out it's welcome, which is very difficult to pull off. Not only is this the highlight of their album, and indeed 2019, this might be their career highlight, but if not, it definitely comes close. Brilliance.
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