Monday, March 6, 2017

“Hands” by Johnossi – A Song Review

     We agree with you! Music blogs shouldn’t follow the path taken by Facebook timelines in becoming more political rants than they are a means to share personal discoveries and experiences. And we agree with you regarding disappointment when a Soundcloud stream is merely a 30-second preview.
     But we want to share “Hands,” the politically charged single from Johnossi. The song is a dialogue between an officer and someone suspected of wrongdoing. The officer is not ready to show mercy (“It is people like you who deserve to be beaten by me, black and blue”). The suspect asserts his innocence (“I'm a family man, swear to God I ain't done nothing wrong, understand”). The content of the message is carried in a vehicle that seems unfitting, but that’s one reason “Hands” is remarkable. That is, while the message has a darkness, the instruments are light and the vocals invite participation. This is apparent even within the 30-second preview.

     Johnossi is a duo in Stockholm, Sweden. They recently released the album “Blood Jungle.” In an email submission from Wilful Publicity, the video was described as:
  "‘Hands’ sees the pair, John Engelbert (vocals/guitar) and Oskar “Ossi” Bonde (drums), playing the parts of the victim and perpetrator in their soaring indie-rock anthem addressing police brutality. The twisted video witnesses firing squads, high-kicking secret policemen and balaclava-clad synchronised swimmers performing among Johnossi’s chiming guitars and singalong chorus."

     “Hands” by Johnossi


Lyrics of “Hands” by Johnossi (the officer’s statements are in italics). Warning: some best guesses are included, such as “medias,” which is a double pluralization or a wrong guess (“haters”?)

Spread your legs and shut your mouth
Put your hands where I can see 'em
I know exactly what you're all about
So put your hands where I can see 'em

I believe that
It is people like you
Who deserve to be beaten by me, black and blue
I believe it

Sorry officer for driving through
I'll put my hands where you can see 'em
Don't want no trouble tell me what to do
I'll put my hands where you can see 'em

You should know that
I'm a family man, swear to God
I ain't done nothing wrong, understand
Please believe me

Boy, how dare you act so innocent and juvenile
Sick and tired of you people doing drugs at night
I guess your father left you and your mom, to her despair
Why do you think I'd even care?
Put your hands up in the air

If you believe in love tonight
Then put your hands where I can see 'em
If you believe we could all unite
Then put your hands where I can see 'em
Cause I believe that we are one
And the world is a beautiful pearl in this great universe
I believe it

Hey!
In another life
Hey!
I would prove I'm right

I would never let nobody tell me how to live
All I know is I feel better once I start again
Imperfection is a beauty everybody shares
Fuck the medias, we don't care
Put your hands up in the air
[Repeat]

Fuck the medias, we don't care
Put your hands up in the air
[Repeat]

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