Declan McKenna, ‘Brazil’ | Track Review
As Declan McKenna releases his debut album, ‘What Do You Think About the Car?’ he reprises several gems from his ‘Liar’ EP, including “Brazil.”
The moment has finally arrived. After releasing his Liar EP in May 2016, Declan McKenna drops his debut album, What Do You Think About the Car? McKenna, who’s only 18, is a truly gifted, up-and-coming singer/songwriter. One of the four songs that appeared on Liar, “Brazil,” is reprised on What Do You Think About the Car? (Track #2).
“Brazil” thrives off of its socially conscious messaging. As far as its role on Liar, it set the tone, establishing McKenna as a songwriting beast. Even though McKenna constructs a meaningful message, he manages to make the song incredibly catchy, particularly the chorus:
“I heard he lives down a river somewhere / with six cars and a grizzly bear / he’s got eyes, but he can’t see / well, he talks like an angel but he looks like me.”
Soccer plays a role in “Brazil,” most explicitly on the bridge. McKenna expresses his interest in ‘playing soccer’ while in Brazil.
“I wanna play the beautiful game while I’m in Brazil / ‘Cause everybody plays the beautiful game while in Brazil / Cause it’s all you’ve ever wanted, and it’s all that you want still / Don’t you wanna play the beautiful game out in Brazil?”
“The World Cup was all anyone was talking about at the time I wrote it so alongside that was me thinking about the bad side and it just…happened.”
Additionally, McKenna makes a number of religious references. He’s particularly playful with his words. In one instance, he asserts:
“I’m faithless now / though we win every time and I don’t know how.”
This raises the question, how can someone who’s been raised with a Christian background denounce religion (and God), yet still prosper? Does the prosperity as an agnostic or atheist hence prove that religion is BS? Or maybe that’s taking it too deep. After all winning is just part of a game.
In another reference, he sings:
“Oh Lord! What have I become? / I’m the face of God I’m my father’s son.”
Here, McKenna diminishes God – reducing him to being nonexistent. You could argue that he’s elevating the character to being God himself, which might suggest intense lust for power and control. This would connect with the aforementioned chorus. Worth noting is that McKenna writes about religion in another song, “Bethlehem.” In an interview with Teen Vogue, he states:
“…Having been raised like a Catholic, I have a sort of sympathy for religion, in that I think that religion’s religion. It can be bad or good.”
With so much to analyze within one song, it’s easy to understand what’s so special about Declan McKenna. A kid really wrote this? Call him what he is – a wunderkind. “Brazil” is exceptional, through and through.