This week we are looking at a bit of a headbanger.
“Perfect Life” was released on Red’s Release the Panic album in 2013 (though some sources claim that the single was released in late November 2012, ahead of the album release).
This song is short but power-packed and has solid guitars, solid drums, solid vocals, and solid lyrics. (And I can put it on repeat and not get tired of it.)
In the first verse, the speaker is addressing someone who pretends to be perfect but who, in reality, is just living a lie. The speaker is aware of the deception and is determined not to become like the other individual. (For simplicity, I will pretend that the second individual is a woman.)
In the chorus, the speaker reiterates his observations that the other person is not living in reality and declares that he wants nothing to do with her “perfect life.”
In the second verse, the speaker addresses the fact that the other person’s intentions are selfish and empty – she has no qualms about hurting others in order to benefit herself. Again, he chooses to walk away, declaring that he “won’t become [her].”
In the bridge, the speaker observes the end result – her facade is crumbling, and the truth is coming out.
In the final chorus, the speaker calls the other person’s life an “empty lie” instead of a “perfect lie,” reinforcing the fact that her attempts to deceive have ultimately failed.
The official music video for “Perfect Life” is very interesting – it portrays the message of the song through the lens of a company employing propaganda tools. Throughout the video, the perspective switches back and forth between views the band singing and views of a video control room.
A man in a white lab coat sits in front of multiple television monitors, controlling various advertisements and inserting subliminal messages within them.
Many of the advertisements promote the fictitious but powerful company Accedia. Various products and ideals are presented: food, water, cosmetics, cigarettes, alcohol, beauty, celebrity, flashy models, etc. All are portrayed as desirable and attractive.
Messages flash by periodically, stating things such as “We are the media,” “Accedia controls you,” “You are trapped,” and “Do not think for yourself.”
Other subliminal messages attempt to stimulate viewers to make purchases by telling them that they are “fat,” they “dress all wrong,” and their “hair isn’t shiny enough,” while still others tell viewers that they are inferior and unliked.
Partway through the video, the screens are taken over one by one by Red’s music video. The man in the lab coat pounds one of the monitors in frustration, then leaves the room to attempt to resolve the “interference.”
One by one, the monitors are taken back over by a still frame bearing Accedia’s emblem.
At the end, a hooded figure arrives with a baseball bat and begins to destroy the monitors.
Both the song’s lyrics and the additional story in the music video are quite relevant.
Many individuals and groups attempt to portray themselves as flawless and superior, including social media influencers, corporations claiming to have “green” priorities and “social justice” goals, religious leaders with unbiblical and impossible expectations, etc.
However, more often than not, in reality they are actually flawed, broken, and corrupt. And while they may be able to fool some people for a time, the truth will eventually come out (just as Jesus promised about the Pharisees’ hypocrisy in Luke 12:1–2).
Additionally, there are many groups that attempt to control and manipulate others by creating problems and then selling the “perfect” solutions. And much of today’s news media attempts to control what people believe, often by presenting lies and ridiculing truth.
At the end of the bridge of “Perfect Life,” the speaker acknowledges his awareness that he is “perfectly broken.”
That statement initially gave me pause, since I have ingrained in my spirit that we are complete in Christ according to Colossians 2:10 (New King James Version [NKJV]).
But I believe that the speaker is referring to the fact that on our own we are broken, sinful, and imperfect, as the Scriptures declare in Romans 3:10 and 1 John 1:8–10.
Indeed, anyone who claims to be perfect is either arrogantly deceived or blatantly lying.
So don’t get caught up in the pursuit of worldly perfection, and don’t be discouraged by those who think themselves superior. Instead, trust in God and surrender to Him.
When we do that, we don’t have to stay broken. God is able to work powerfully through our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9), to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and to bring us beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
Joe Perry, from Aerosmith (Birthday: September 10, 1950)
Dave Mustaine, from Megadeath and Metallica (Birthday: September 13, 1961)
Zak Starkey, from The Who/Son of Ringo Starr (Birthday: September 13, 1965)
Please pray for these bands and individuals as God leads you.
(I also have a basic guideline here if you wish to refer to it.)
In addition to praying for the weekly Prayer Focus, please pray for God to guide me and give me wisdom as I make decisions for the radio station and for the website. I really appreciate your prayer support!
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What do you think of “Perfect Life”? Can you think of other similar examples of hypocrisy and/or manipulation? Let me know!
“Perfect Life” Download (USA): ChristianBook.com
Release the Panic (Deluxe Edition) Full Album Download (USA): ChristianBook.com
Official Music Video: YouTube.com
Official Lyric Video: YouTube.com
Downloads and/or physical copies may also be available worldwide from your favorite online music store, at your local bookstore or thrift shop, or through your favorite online marketplace.
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Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!
- I find some musicians’ birthdays at https://www.ihopeidiebeforeigetold.com/. (Not that I share that sentiment – if Jesus tarries, I pray to live to a ripe old age [Psalm 91:16].)