When It Comes – Unpacking the Quest for Authenticity in an Age of Repetition


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Incubus's When It Comes at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Cyclical Assaults on the Fortress of Thought
  5. Trading Brains with an Imbecile – The Dumbing Down of Society
  6. Mental Piracy in the Age of Information
  7. The Bull and The Matador’s Dance – A Battle for Authenticity
  8. The Anthem of the Free Mind and Its Memorable Proclamation

Lyrics

It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again, again
It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again, again
It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again, again
It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again

When it comes, it comes abrupt
And it feels, it feels like trading brains with an imbecile, for real
Yes, I feel emphatic about not being static
And not buying philosophies that are sold to me at a steal

Just when you thought it was safe to think
In comes mental piracy
I know what I’m looking for cannot be sold to me
I wish they all would stop trying
‘Cause what I want (what I want)
And what I need (and what I need)
Is and will always will be free, now

It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again, again
It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again

When it comes, it comes unannounced
And it feels like a matador is taunting me
With his reddest red cloth and I am the bull
Yes I feel emphatic about not being static
And not eating the bullshit that’s being fed to me no more
‘Cause now I’m full

Just when you thought it was safe to think
In comes mental piracy
I know what I’m looking for cannot be sold to me
I wish they all would stop trying
‘Cause what I want (what I want)
And what I need (and what I need)
Is and will always will be free, now

It’s coming around again
They’re letting it out again, again

Full Lyrics

As visceral as it is intellectual, Incubus’s track ‘When It Comes’ is a siren call of cognizance in the dissonant sea of our modern zeitgeist. At first listen, it’s a rock ballad encapsulated in the familiar fabric of the band’s hit-laden repertoire. But underneath its catchy melodic hooks lies a profound narrative on the recurring assault against individual thought and the commodification of philosophy.

The lyrics, penned by frontman Brandon Boyd, evoke a potent metaphorical battle – a pushback against the forces that peddle pre-packaged truths and aim to colonize the mind. Where does the song fit in the broader spectrum of Incubus’s work and in the labyrinth of contemporary societal discourse? This exploration digs beneath the surface of ‘When It Comes,’ seeking the treasure trove of enlightenment hidden within its enigmatic lines.

Cyclical Assaults on the Fortress of Thought

The repetition of ‘It’s coming around again / They’re letting it out again’ speaks to the pervasive nature of societal pressures. The cyclical resurgence, much like the mythical Hydra, suggests a relentless barrage intended to wear down the defenses of the self. The song captures the essence of this struggle through the motif of an ever-returning force, one that governs with the subtlety of a whisper yet carries the impact of a scream.

This repetition is not mere filler; it’s a tantric rhythm, mimicking the incessant nature of external influences. From trends to ideologies, Boyd seems to underscore the recurring attempt to ensnare and homogenize individual thought through mass-marketed ideas. It’s less a song, more a siren for the awakened listener, calling out to identify and resist the loop.

Trading Brains with an Imbecile – The Dumbing Down of Society

In a standout line, Boyd equates succumbing to diluted, sold philosophies with ‘trading brains with an imbecile.’ This poignant analogy furthers the narrative of intellectual decline – a scathing critique of the oversimplification of concepts and the deliberate engineering of ignorance. Incubus’s metaphor extends to comment on how society often prizes blind consumption over discerning acceptance.

This section of the song warns against the seductive ease of intellectual passivity. The visceral imagery here incites an almost physical rejection of the ‘steal’ of hollow philosophies peddled as profound truths. Boyd’s words are a wake-up call to cling to the complexities of thought and not trade them away for comfort.

Mental Piracy in the Age of Information

In a sharp turn of phrase, ‘In comes mental piracy’ drives home the invasion of personal intellect by external ideologies. Incubus here alludes to the commandeering of the mind’s vessel by ideas that have not been freely chosen, but rather imposed – much like pirates overtaking a ship. The underlying message is one of vigilance and autonomy over one’s mental territory in an age of relentless informational onslaught.

Mental piracy goes beyond mere influence; it encapsulates the idea of forcefully installed beliefs and the struggle to hold onto one’s cognitive sovereignty. This portion of the song brings a particular resonance in the digital era, where social media algorithms and echo chambers threaten to capsize individual thought under the weight of collective noise.

The Bull and The Matador’s Dance – A Battle for Authenticity

Incubus captivates with the striking image of a ‘matador taunting with his reddest red cloth.’ There’s a visceral sense of being in the ring, the target of persuasive yet dangerous enticements. The bull – the listener, the individual – is provoked by the ostentatious display, led by those who wish to manipulate and direct our focus, our rage, our attention.

The bull’s unwillingness to be led any longer speaks to a profound awakening – a fullness, a satiated state, where further consumption becomes impossible. It’s an emotive declaration of having reached a threshold, where Boyd’s anthemic rejection of ‘bullshit’ rings out not just as frustration, but as an emphatic line in the sand for truth.

The Anthem of the Free Mind and Its Memorable Proclamation

‘What I want and what I need is and will always be free.’ Here lies the song’s heart and its most memorable line – a declarative bill of rights for the mind. It’s an affirmation, repeated with the weight of a mantra. Incubus doesn’t just herald the importance of protecting mental integrity; it celebrates the most basic yet often overlooked freedom – the freedom of thought.

‘When It Comes’ functions as a restorative chant for those seeking to reclaim their intellectual autonomy in an environment flooded with cheap truths. Its potency is in its bare-faced veracity, resonating deep within listeners who yearn for the unfettered, un-buyable landscape of free thought. Incubus, through this offering, welds listeners into an unseen fraternity of those who know that the most profound riches are those that cannot be quantified nor acquired.

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