Track Review: Tyler Glenn, ‘Shameless’
Tyler Glenn doesn’t “give a damn”on “Shameless.”
Tyler Glenn releases his solo debut, Excommunication on October 21. Ahead of its release, Glenn issued five tracks – nearly 40% of the album. The second single the Neon Trees frontman releases was “Shameless.” “Shameless” lives up to its title, but it digs deeper than its shameless ways.
First, the production work is slick – perfectly assembled. The electronic components are full throttle, giving “Shameless” a dirty, clubby nature. The horns sound exceptional, only amplifying the energy. Set in a minor key, “Shameless” indeed paints a shameless picture musically as well as lyrically.
Lyrically, “Shamelessly” balances sexuality and the impact of sexuality on the church’s views. Read shallowly as it presents itself, the following lyric seems particularly filthy:
“Maybe meet you with a couple friends / this ain’t love, but maybe we pretend / rent some pornographic movie / and we both know how it ends…”
Clearly, Glenn presents this as a stereotype of LGBT people. Yes, he is flexing his muscles given his newfound liberation from the LDS church. But, later lyrics confirm Glenn is purposely exaggerating because he believes that some people – particularly Christians – who aren’t gay are narrow sighted.
“It’s the darkest time of the night / God and vodka might save my life / you judge, but I don’t give a damn / I live a life so shameless.”
Glenn doesn’t care what folks say, he’ll live how he wants to live. He sticks it to the detractors as he sings:
“Why not take me now as I am? / Why not take me now like a man? / you hate what you don’t understand / I live a life so shameless.”
Like “Trash,” the accompanying music video is risqué. In the case of “Shameless,” it’s more sexually-driven. “Trash” focused on his break from the church, while “Shameless” seems to be both about sexual liberation and people being judgmental.
All in all, there’s nothing shameless about the quality of “Shameless.” It is exceptionally well-produced, well-performed, and risqué. Even with its innuendo, Glenn manages to make a bigger point about being judgmental. Excommunication should be a treat.
Tyler Glenn • Excommunication • Island • Release: 10.21.16
Photo Credit: Island