Will Wood’s Normal Album: What Does it All Mean? Part 1

 

Poster for The Normal Album
Poster for The Normal Album from Will Wood’s Webstore

Will Wood has taken the place of my favorite music artist this past year, and if you take the time to listen to his most recent work, The Normal Album, you’ll totally understand why someone like me would be so enthralled with his music. I’ve even written a (admittedly pretty bad) blog about the him and his band before, which you can read here for a more in-depth look into why I love his music so much. So, I decided why not try to do a quick analysis on each song included on The (absolutely anything but) Normal Album before Will Wood releases his new upcoming one, In Case I Make It. These songs are so incredible and deserve MUCH more than a high schooler writing this with a deadline around the corner and an average of 4 hours of sleep. These will only be a quick surface-level overview of the themes and tone of each song, so I recommend you check these out for yourself and read more about them!

1. Suburbia Overture: Greetings from Mary Bell Township! / (Vampire) Culture / Love Me, Normally

In classic Will Wood fashion, the title of this track is long and convoluted. The song is split into three parts, each having it’s own title. However, I’ll be talking about the track as a whole here. The song is a commentary on the “ideal” white picket fence and nuclear family and how that, and modern culture as a whole, can be extremely toxic. Will Wood relates the middle-class Suburbia to a war zone as while discussing its malicious and vampiric aspects. Self-expression is exiled in this world of blind conformity, and the underlying misery is painted over with images of family barbecues and white weddings.

My favorite stanza from the song:

“…So give me your half-life crisis
I can tell that you know where paradise is
Where parasites don’t care what your blood type is
Only pheromones and serotonin decide…”

2econd-2ight-2eer (that was fun, goodbye.)

This funky song is definitely one of my favorites from the album. The main theme of the song is breaking free from the conformity the world pushes onto us and living life the “crazy” way you want, even if the world looks upon you with judgment. The song has heavy religious symbolism and discusses breaking free of its grip and the surrounding culture of it. In short, embrace being “a psycho, babe,” and live life without worrying about what boring people think of you. You only get one life, so live it to the fullest without shame.

My favorite stanza from the song:

“…Some days I’m glad that I am a madman and I’d rather be that than
An amicable animal, mild-mannered cannibal
But I’m more level-headed and clever than ever and I’m getting better one forever at a time
And if sick is defined by what’s different, well then pull the plug out and let me die…”

Laplace’s Angel (Hurt People? Hurt People!)

The title of this song is a reference to Laplace’s demon, a scientific proposition of causal determinism, which I’m not nearly smart enough to fully understand, but essentially says that all events in the future are caused by the events of the past. Hurt People? Hurt People! is an obvious reference to the saying of “hurt people hurt people,” suggesting that those who hurt others are deeply damaged themselves. Laplace’s Angel itself is a commentary on “bad people” as a whole and what really makes them “bad.” Are bad people defined by their actions? What about the reasoning of their actions? What about what’s behind the reasoning of their actions? If you were in the exact same shoes as the person you’re judging, what would you do, and would you judge yourself?

My favorite stanza from the song:

“…So if you wash your hands of where you’ve been until you flood the second floor
Neatly fold your skeletons but still can’t shut the closet door
The only ones in need of love are those who don’t receive enough
So evil ones should get a little more…”

I/Me/Myself

Okay, so you’ve probably heard this one before. This song recently blew up on TikTok and sparked tons of conversation about its meaning and even some controversy. Will Wood himself recently came forward to clarify the meaning of the song, so I’ll include his own words from his post on Genius.com.

“To boil it down, the song is about how I respond to my frustration with the limitations of the male gender role, the maladaptive ways I’ve coped with that frustration, and trying to figure out if this experience or any other regarding my gender can or should define me. It reaches the same conclusion that most of my work does – and that is that nothing is real and that if something is hurting us we have the power to cast it off.”

You can read more from his post here.  It does a much better job than I ever could.

This concludes part 1 of my analysis of Will Wood’s The Normal Album. It really is a wild ride to go on, and it’s definitely very high up on my favorite albums of all time list. I really wish I could do this album justice, and if Mr. Wood himself is reading this somehow, thank you SO much for the wonderful work of art! :]

 

Author: Lauren Stamps

Just a writer who really likes fictional robots :)

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