DLZ – Dissecting the Anthem of Disillusion


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for TV on the Radio's DLZ at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Postmodern Prometheus: Fire, Deceit, and Disconnection
  5. Circling the Abyss of Neverland: The Eternal Loop of Dissatisfaction
  6. The Vanity of Heightened Sights: A Critique of False Ideals
  7. A Pantheon of Dubious Deities: The ‘Death Professor’ Decoded
  8. Echoes of Elegy: Facing the ‘Dawn of a Loser Forever’

Lyrics

Congratulations on the mess you made of things
On trying to reconstruct the air and all that brings
And oxidation is the compromise you own
But this is beginning to feel like the dog wants her bones saved

You force your fire then you falsify your deeds
Your methods dot the disconnect from all your creeds
And fortune strives to fill the vacuum that it feeds
But this is beginning to feel like the dog’s lost her lead

This is beginning to feel like the long
winded blues of the never
This is beginning to feel like it’s curling up slowly
and finding a throat to choke

This is beginning to feel like the long
winded blues of the never
Barely controlled locomotive consuming the picture
and blowing the crows, the smoke

This is beginning to feel like the long
winded blues of the never
Static explosion devoted to crushing the broken
and shoving their souls to ghost

Eternalized, objectified
You set your sights so high
But this is beginning to feel like
the bolt busted loose from the lever

Never you mind
Death professor
Your structure’s fine
My dust is better
Your victim flies so high
All to catch a bird’s eye view of who’s next

Never you mind
Death professor
Love is life
My love is better
Eyes could be the diamonds
Confused with who’s next

Never you mind
Death professor
Your shocks are fine
My struts are better
Your fiction flies so high
Y’all could use a doctor
Who’s sick, who’s next?

Never you mind
Death professor
Electrified, my love is better
It’s crystallized, so’m I
All could be the diamond
Fused with who’s next

This is beginning to feel like the dawn of a loser forever

This is beginning to feel like the dawn of a loser forever

This is beginning to feel like the dawn of a loser forever

Full Lyrics

TV on the Radio’s ‘DLZ’ is not just a song; it’s a mosaic of modern disenchantment, a profound ode to the existential crises that punctuate our era. As each verse unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that this track from the band’s 2008 album ‘Dear Science’ serves as a conduit for a deeper societal commentary—a ruthless dissection of personal downfall and the broader decay of principles that once seemed inviolable.

Through the cryptic yet incisive lyrics of ‘DLZ,’ the band delivers an intricate critique of authenticity versus facade, the perils of hubris, and the consequences of living in a world where moral compasses seem to have gone awry. This song is a rich textual labyrinth that invites listeners to peel back its layers and discover the multifaceted themes embedded within.

The Postmodern Prometheus: Fire, Deceit, and Disconnection

The opening stanza of ‘DLZ’ is bathed in Promethean imagery, speaking to the flawed nature of human endeavor to seize control of the intangible—’the air and all that brings.’ The reference to oxidation symbolizes the inevitable decay of even the most brilliantly sparked intentions, with the line ‘this is beginning to feel like the dog wants her bones saved’ underscoring a deep hunger for preservation against natural decay.

TV on the Radio tactfully highlights the disconnect between action and principle (‘Your methods dot the disconnect from all your creeds’) as a haunting testament to the moral disorientation that afflicts contemporary society. This serves as a preamble to an even deeper dive into the human psyche, and the folly of self-deception. The dog losing her lead—a breakdown of control—becomes an apt metaphor for unchecked ambition and the loss of restraint.

Circling the Abyss of Neverland: The Eternal Loop of Dissatisfaction

The recurring phrase ‘This is beginning to feel like the long winded blues of the never’ encapsulates a persistent sense of yearning and relentless pursuit that defines much of human striving. TV on the Radio encapsulates this existential repetition as a ‘barely controlled locomotive,’ hinting at a momentum that has grown larger than the sum of individual volitions, consuming and obliterating in its path.

There’s a sense of impending calamity in the metaphor of ‘static explosion,’ where the push for progress leads to a self-destructive impetus, ‘crushing the broken and shoving their souls to ghost.’ This line poignantly captures the outcome of society’s relentless march forward, often at the expense of those left in its wake, and posits the idea of existence as an ephemeral ghost of what it once was or could be.

The Vanity of Heightened Sights: A Critique of False Ideals

The phrase ‘Eternalized, objectified / You set your sights so high’ seems to critique the elevation of superficial standards and hollow achievements as the apex of success. TV on the Radio suggests a disconnect between ambition and the reality of human limitation, and the ‘bolt busted loose from the lever’ acts as a metaphor for the failures resulting from reaching beyond our means or understanding.

The song’s questioning of what we deem important, calling into question the very structures that we strive to build and maintain—be it physical achievements, societal status, or intellectual conquests—challenges the listener to reflect on the inherent value of these pursuits. The image of ‘the diamond confused with who’s next’ speaks to the commodification of human worth, as people are reduced to pawns in a never-ending game of societal one-upmanship.

A Pantheon of Dubious Deities: The ‘Death Professor’ Decoded

The character of the ‘Death professor’ recurs throughout the song, a symbol that is cryptic yet suggestive of a guide or authority presiding over this decline. Each mention is paired with a sense of defiance (‘Your structure’s fine / My dust is better’), suggesting a counter-narrative to the traditional values and beliefs that this professor or societal construct might represent.

The term ‘Death professor’ could be interpreted as the personification of the system that facilitates our self-destructive tendencies, and the singer’s contrasting assertion of their own ‘better’ dust, shocks, love, suggests a radically different valuation of life and existence. Their claim declares a preference for the innate and the authentic over the fictions and electrified attractions of modernity.

Echoes of Elegy: Facing the ‘Dawn of a Loser Forever’

The conclusion of ‘DLZ’ lapses into a refrain that encapsulates the overarching mood of the song, the ‘dawn of a loser forever.’ It’s a mournful acceptance of a relentless cycle of defeat, an acknowledgment of the futility and exhaustion that comes with constant contention against the tide of societal expectation and self-imposed striving.

Far from being a pessimistic surrender, however, the song’s repeated line suggests a resilience—the foreknowledge of defeat does not stop the dawn from coming, nor does it dissuade the pressure to continue in the face of it. The ‘loser’ here is not just an individual, but could be representative of a culture, a generation, or a condition, a poetic testament that sometimes the most profound strength lies in acknowledging our vulnerabilities and limitations.

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