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Ransom Notes

University of Chicago

SAVIOR COMPLEX - Single (2023)


Review By TeKay

July 23, 2023

Ordering Information

SAVIOR COMPLEX streams on Spotify


Complex can mean something that is multilayered or multifaceted. It can also mean something that is "a related group of emotionally significant ideas that are completely or partly repressed and that cause psychic conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior," according to the Oxford dictionary. The two definitions aren't mutually exclusive, as the complexity of a song can be due to both its multiple layers working together and it can dig at an emotional state that one wasn't expecting. That is the synergy that the Ransom Notes attempted on this cover of Savior Complex by Phoebe Bridgers that they didn't quite achieve completely.

The track opens with a woman in a state of hyperventilation or repressed crying. I think the arranger was hoping to emphasize the crocodile tears aspect of the song in an attempt to humanize the narrator's pleading to her lover with both a sense of ennui and sarcasm. This is me trying to analyze a cover song for its literary merits and, much like the protagonist, I fear I am failing to do so.

As a listening experience, the song is fine — there are some super-rich harmonic moments, the production is absolute perfection, the soloists are in excellent voice, and I'm always down for an atmospheric soundscape that creates an environment that my mind can just float around in. The group is succeeding on all fronts here. And I don't know if I'm ever going to not praise an English-speaking group for throwing some French lyrics up in a piece. WOO! I am missing some of the rolling rhythm offered by the guitar arpeggios in the original that helps drive the song forward, but that's minor. In fact, the aforementioned lyrical addition replaces the strings very well.

I just don't understand why this song utilizes such an abrupt ending. It takes away from the overall enjoyment of Savior Complex for me, creating an unnecessarily complex relationship.

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