Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The person that's pulled out of a party in "It Takes A Long Time," is the person that we all could become, if we just let everything sink in. The man in John Nolan's song is babbling, letting it all rupture out of him, rapture out of him, as if there was just no holding it back any longer. He doesn't let himself get this way too often, bottling it up and then seeing it gush out when there's just no holding any of it back any longer, when something tips the scale and it all gets vomited out - literally and figuratively. He's seen here, kicking, screaming, clawing at the carpet, chewing at the scenery, and forgetting about any social decency.
He probably didn't do or say anything that millions of people haven't done before, when they should have just held their tongues and worked through their problems in a more private setting. It's just that, there comes a point, when there is no more holding anything in and it's when the whistle blows and the pressure must be released. It's usually a build-up of uncertainty and all of the many issues that are deferred until a later time, with the thought being that there will be time enough for counting and kneading them when you decide to make it. These issues, we think, can be held at bay. We only think that because we want them to be held at bay. There is nothing to keep them there - at bay. They move ashore with their typical persuasion and there's no stopping them. It's then that they must be dealt with, for they're slipping into our basements and in through our screen doors. These are the issues that we were going to have to get to sooner or later and sooner always wins when we start talking that way.
Nolan, the former lead singer of Straylight Run and co-lead singer of Taking Back Sunday, writes like a man with a desire for all the answers, however, he's content with only getting a fourth of them, concluding that understanding why everything is the way it is happens to be beyond the comprehension of any one of us. It doesn't lessen the amount of stress in attempting to still snag that intelligence, fleeting and fickle as it may be, but makes for a lighter burning. He finds that letting go might be the only way, for he knows, as he sings on this choice cut from Primitive Radio Gods, "I've been downhearted baby/I've been downhearted baby/Ever since the day we met." It happens a lot, but what are you going to do, not try to get lighthearted?