Since I’m a bit tipsy, you’re all getting Silverchair vidspam. <3
My last post highlighted the brilliant ways in which Silverchair captured the horror, the sense of pressure and darkness inherent in mental illness. I don’t think I could write enough posts to fully explore the genius of Silverchair’s oeuvre; particularly in the case of the last three albums, there’s just so much to work with. “A lot to unpack,” as one of my University mentors would phrase it.
I’m going to move forward in Silverchair’s body of work and try to re-approach a thesis I left dangling last time: as Daniel Johns has become healthier and happier, his music has become more difficult to “get.” And I think there’s something intrinsically valuable about that experience. Read on if you’re ready for weird:
I know that, in a previous post, I kinda made fun of Silverchair for some odd/nonsensical lyrics, but I’d like to turn the spotlight of this post onto their more shining moments.
Neon Ballroom is by far one of my very favorite albums of all time. Daniel Johns has said that he feels as though Neon Ballroom was the first “real” Silverchair album; that the two previous had been sort of “our high school band.” I can sort of see it, though songs on their second album, Freak Show, certainly showed some of the promise demonstrated in their later work.
Neon Ballroom is part of a theory of mine: Daniel Johns was at his most coherent, lyrics-wise when he was at his most miserable. This isn’t to say he’s any less talented now, or anything like that; it’s just that the lyrics in the songs on Neon Ballroom are extraordinarily clear. There’s still metaphor, still a little abstractness, but the intent of the songs is very apparent. I’m going to look at only a few of the songs, but I definitely recommend checking out the whole album.