Declan McKenna – Brazil
“Oh Lord! What have I become?
I'm the face of God, I'm my fathers' son
I'm not, what you think you see
I know you can't eat leather, but you can't stop me”
Where’s the meaning?
What does teenage angst and international corruption have in common? Brazil, that’s what! In his catchy debut single “Brazil”, Declan McKenna deftly navigates ideas of corruption, lavishness, and economic inequality by connecting it to a very real teenage angst. After hearing the harrowing tale of corruption that was the 2018 Brazil FIFA World Cup controversy, McKenna produced this swirling, catchy protest song.
In “Brazil”, McKenna plays on the common belief that during periods of adversity people tend to look to divinity or supernatural powers for guidance and help. He further extrapolates that this need creates a vacuum that can be easily exploited by the words and actions of leaders who are made to “look like an angel”, but really are no different (just as horrible and prone to sin) or more capable of solving systemic problems than anyone else. Brazil’s unique blend of tormented pessimism and insight into the human condition left lyric-lovers and pop-grubbers alike squealing with delight.
Do conditions of economic instability and income inequality necessarily result in vacuums for exploitative leadership or must those seeds already be sown?
What are the limits of and essential characteristics of political leaders?