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Ben Ottewell — Lightbulbs
Album: Shapes & Shadows
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 354









Released: 2011
Length: 4:36
Plays (last 30 days): 0
When the night is thrown, I'll be waiting
When the race is won, every thread spun
A dose of hydrogen and we'll make it
Conjure helium, ask the question

Corpus callosum, get on fire
I'll pull you to my burning side
It's hard but it's alright, soft, red and light

Everything in here in the belly of this beast
Owing to black tongue, it said it could smile
You swallowed the lightbulbs, swallowed the clocks
It's tearing us through it, it's tearing its hide

When the dust is thrown and we float home
There are lights inside our broke red eyes
The doors of [Incomprehensible] and to break in
Conjure laughter from box of questions

Corpus callosum, get on fire
I'll help you to my spinning side
It's hard but it's alright, warm, sad and bright

Everything in here in the belly of this beast
Don't let your lights on, it said it could smile
You swallowed the lightbulbs, swallowed the clocks
It's tearing us through it, it's tearing its hide

Echo and wound down, floating in space
The questions threaten, the method is grave
And we can be found out, I'm laughing like mad
This is what we came for, this is what we had
Comments (38)add comment
https://www.openlettersmonthly.com/likefire/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/album-bare-trees.jpg
where are these weird voices coming from? Another slimy sandpaper gargling yodel. Ack.
 haretic wrote:

I'm with you on this one. If at first I don't get a lyric that sounds like it means something, I will try harder. I too looked up the terms, and still find no significance. Unless Ben Ottewell is seriously challenged as regards his gender, (I say this in reference to an interesting study on the corpus callosum), then I think he is simply pretentious, and writing about nothing at all in such an elaborate way as to leave the listener uncertain that he is really full of it.

 
Perhaps it's a variation on the "write a line, fold the paper, pass it on, stop when the page is full, unfold and see what was writ" game.
 Businessgypsy wrote:
 sbegf wrote:
It maybe because part of this song really, really sounds like a PJ song.  I can't place it, but I know it's there...
Contains 73% less goat.

 

You Sir, are my hero.
Sounds distinctly like a Pearl jam track!
I'm always trying to make the connection bewteen songs in Bill's wonderfully woven sets. 

The connection to the last song?  (Missy Higgins, Where I Stood) can only be the font on the album cover.
7 ... 8
Mr. Ottewell and his band mates in Gomez are one hell of a band: recorded or live.  Glad I got to see them recently.
Interesting that his Wikipedia page directs you to the Gomez site. I was thinking that Gomez has three lead singers and that Ben might do a solo album.
Fantastic song! Great lyrics and vibe.

In my interpretation it's a poetic telling of the story of the universe and ongoing creation (that includes us). 
Hydrogen conjures Helium in the stars, boils down to heavier elements that make us
"corpus callosum get on fire" (neurons fire/create)
"burning/spinning side. . " beside sun/planet
The question is the biggest question in the universe.

Profound. love it. 
please, never again! this is unbearabel!!
 haretic wrote:

I'm with you on this one. If at first I don't get a lyric that sounds like it means something, I will try harder. I too looked up the terms, and still find no significance. Unless Ben Ottewell is seriously challenged as regards his gender, (I say this in reference to an interesting study on the corpus callosum), then I think he is simply pretentious, and writing about nothing at all in such an elaborate way as to leave the listener uncertain that he is really full of it.

 
Maybe he just came across the terms and likes using them; the lyrics make sense in context to the whole song and their apparent stream of consciousness style.  I'm not sure why you think he's "seriously challenged as regards his gender", because he probably knows nothing of this "interesting study" that you hint at.  I don't think these are brilliant lyrics but I've certainly seen and heard much more pretentious ones. Do you really think he is engaging in some sneaky ruse of using elaborate writing to create listener uncertainty as to his sincerity?  That's a pretty elaborate theory.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Bare Trees
 
One of my all-time favorite albums - and album covers. Sadly neglected these days . . . 

 
 fredriley wrote:
"A dose of hydrogen and we'll make it conjure helium" - wtf? Does yer man Ottewell have his own personal fusion reactor?

Ok, ok, I know, that's taking a metaphor literally, but I'm damned if I know what he's going on about. According to the dictionary on my machine, corpus callosum is "a broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.". Hmm. This guy makes The Shins look positively transparent.
 
I'm with you on this one. If at first I don't get a lyric that sounds like it means something, I will try harder. I too looked up the terms, and still find no significance. Unless Ben Ottewell is seriously challenged as regards his gender, (I say this in reference to an interesting study on the corpus callosum), then I think he is simply pretentious, and writing about nothing at all in such an elaborate way as to leave the listener uncertain that he is really full of it.

The Pearl Jam song is "Immortality." "A truant finds home ..." that part is identical, just different lyrics.
 fredriley wrote:
"A dose of hydrogen and we'll make it conjure helium" - wtf? Does yer man Ottewell have his own personal fusion reactor?

Ok, ok, I know, that's taking a metaphor literally, but I'm damned if I know what he's going on about. According to the dictionary on my machine, corpus callosum is "a broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.". Hmm. This guy makes The Shins look positively transparent.
 
Fred,
Has the notion of copyrighting some of your comments ever crossed your corpus callosum?

 jules44 wrote:
I have this cd on in my car and I can't stop listening to it!!!!!!!
Love his voice and very thoughtful song writing...I think the arrangements are brilliant as well.

 
Me too - big Gomez fan so I gave it a listen and though 'meh' at first.  After a few listens, it has really grown on me and it's a solid album from start to finish.

"A dose of hydrogen and we'll make it conjure helium" - wtf? Does yer man Ottewell have his own personal fusion reactor?

Ok, ok, I know, that's taking a metaphor literally, but I'm damned if I know what he's going on about. According to the dictionary on my machine, corpus callosum is "a broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.". Hmm. This guy makes The Shins look positively transparent.
I could not buy every song! So I must hear on this station!
 sbegf wrote:
It maybe because part of this song really, really sounds like a PJ song.  I can't place it, but I know it's there...
Contains 73% less goat.

 newwavegurly wrote:

When this got played the other day, I heard a resemblance to the Pearl Jam song I think you might be hearing as well. I can't quite place which one it is either, but I'll figure it out soon...
 

I think - given the vocal resemblance and some other characteristics - that it sounds like a "song Pearl Jam might do."  But as a big PJ fan I don't think it closely resembles any particular cut.
good song
 sbegf wrote:
It maybe because part of this song really, really sounds like a PJ song.  I can't place it, but I know it's there...
 
When this got played the other day, I heard a resemblance to the Pearl Jam song I think you might be hearing as well. I can't quite place which one it is either, but I'll figure it out soon...
we were lucky enough to see him live in LA last weekend (very up-close and personal in a tiny club)... he sounded fantastic.  he's a huge guy, enormous hands but such a delicate guitar player.
{#Clap}
 newwavegurly wrote:

And what does that have to do with this song other than the Gomez reference?
 
It maybe because part of this song really, really sounds like a PJ song.  I can't place it, but I know it's there...

Bonus points for working "corpus callosum" into the lyrics.
Unmistakable voice. {#Jump}
Came here to say that it sounds a lot like Gomez. Heh.

But his is the voice I like the least in the band. I much prefer when the band sounds like "girlshapedlovedrug."
I might have to check this album out. I'm already a Gomez fan, this could be a nice addition to my music library...
I have this cd on in my car and I can't stop listening to it!!!!!!!
Love his voice and very thoughtful song writing...I think the arrangements are brilliant as well.

 sirdroseph wrote:
I do like a lot of Gomez's work, but I do NOT like Eddie Vedder!{#No}
 
And what does that have to do with this song other than the Gomez reference?
 Jack_Jefferson wrote:
That guy from Gomez?
 
No, he's from Southport, England. Runs away...I'm sorry I just couldn't help it. {#Shifty}
 Jack_Jefferson wrote:

Rando, that was the other song from this CD that was played yesterday.

 

well, that explains that! thanks!
 Randomax wrote:
WOW, I was FINALLY the 1st to comment yesterday when this was 1st played and now it's gone....also another person commented and I answered that yes, indeed, this is the familiar voice from Gomez.  hmmmm....where did it all go??  Oh well, I enjoy this very much!
 
Rando, that was the other song from this CD that was played yesterday.

I do like a lot of Gomez's work, but I do NOT like Eddie Vedder!{#No}
WOW, I was FINALLY the 1st to comment yesterday when this was 1st played and now it's gone....also another person commented and I answered that yes, indeed, this is the familiar voice from Gomez.  hmmmm....where did it all go??  Oh well, I enjoy this very much!
That guy from Gomez?
Heard his album was on the way. Cool.