Hello My Name Is Human-Highly Suspect

Welcome to Music Monday!

(I promise next week will be something a little more mainstream)

Hello My Name is Human” by Highly Suspect off the 2016 album The Boy Who Died Wolf is another song that is really important to me. It’s not really a song of solidarity like last week’s “Unity” so much as a reminder of humanity; the lead singer calls it “a wake-up call.”

The song starts off with:

Gotta remember that nobody is better than anyone else, here
(Do you need some time to think it over?)
Look what they do to you
Look what they do to me
Must be joking if you think that either one is free, here

I played this song often the week of November 6. The line “nobody is better than anyone else” especially sticks out to me; it can be difficult not to overly inflate ourselves, because of our political leanings, education level, or what have you.

(Obviously, although I’ll say it anyway, the average peaceful person is better than a murderer or other violent criminal…)

During the two verses of this song, singer Johnny Stevens is doing a kind of slow rap-faster than “sing talk” but not really rapping either. This changes in the chorus, with the music speeding up and the Stevens beginning to sing.

Get up off your knees, girl
Stand face to face with your God
And find out what you are
(Hello, my name is human)
Hello, my name is human
And I came down from the stars
(Hello, my name is human)

At the risk of offending the more devout out there, this is possibly my favorite chorus ever. The song is about our humanity, which easily gets overshadowed by belief systems that insist humans are “broken” and “evil.” The other pressing idea here is “I came down from the stars.” You may have heard the quote from Carl Sagan, and brought back by Neil deGrasse Tyson: “We are all made of star stuff.” Again, it’s a reminder that being human is a pretty awesome thing to be.

Before moving on, I’d like to point out the variations in the chorus:

Chorus 2:

Get up off your knees, boy
Stand face to face with your God
And find out what you are

Chorus 3:

I’m up off my knees, girl
I’m face to face with myself
And I know who I am
(Hello, my name is human)
I stole the power from the sun
I’m more than just a man
(No longer disillusioned)

Most songs keep a consistent chorus; maybe the last repetition changes a few words, but overall it stays the same. The second chorus uses “boy” over “girl” in, I would guess, an effort to be inclusive: it isn’t just women who should “Stand face to face with your God.”

The second is a natural progression of the song-it tells a story, and this is the end. The speaker is no longer on his knees (praying! Get your mind out of the gutter), and has figured out who he is and the power that he has as a human.

One last thing before we go: the use of parenthetical lyrics. You probably already noticed it in what I’ve linked here, but here’s a longer piece at the end of the song:

(I’m not asking questions)
(‘Cause questions have answers)
(And I don’t want answers)
I came down from the stars (so I’ll take my chances)
(And what are the chances)
(That I could advance)
(On my own circumstances)

The parenthetical parts, in the song, are clearly identified; the tone and rhythm of them is different. Earlier in the song they work as a response to the sung lyrics, but here they operate on their own. They are clearly separate from the non-parenthetical, but they don’t really relate.

Check out Highly Suspect!

Am I completely wrong? Do you have a different interpretation? A recommendation for next time? Leave a comment!

BandHighly Suspect.

Label: 300 Entertainment

Producer: Joel Hamilton

(Image credit: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52328678)

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