Pictures of Success
Pictures of Success is an indie soft rock song by Rilo Kiley and first released on 2001-07-31 as track 4 of Take Offs and Landings. It was composed by Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett. On the album recording, Lewis sings vocals, Sennet plays electric guitar, Pierre de Reeder plays bass guitar, Dave Rock plays drums, Phillip Watt plays trumpet, and Alex Greenwald plays synthesizer. I can hear a second guitar being played, but I'm not sure who plays it, probably Lewis.
This song is about how depressing it is to compare your own life to those who are far more successful. It talks about having a hard time deciding what you're going to do with your life, figuring out how to afford your bills, dealing with break ups, and generally failing to live up to your potential or even expectations. And yet, in the last part of the song, Jenny explains that she has on her best shoes, so she's ready to go.
I really love this song from an instrumental view. The bass line has a nice constant thumping, the guitar has some wonderful bends, and the synthesizers gives it a mysteriousness. There is a nice long intro, and a couple instrument breaks, each are fantastic. The trumpet, which seems like it would be out of place, fits beautifully. Jenny's vocals are breathy and slightly whining which fit the mood of the song perfectly. Despite the overall gloomy sound and content, I generally feel pretty good when I listen to this song.
I first heard this song after buying Take Offs and Landings a few years after it had been released. I'm pretty sure I loved this song upon first hearing it, though I didn't care much for the repetition at the end. Two lyrics from this song that I particularly like are, "I'm a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily," and, "but the bills keep changing colors."
Build your own television receiver Staying home can't be that bad for me 'Cause I'm not scared But I'd like some extra spare time Easily earn me big money I'm a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily When I put myself in the picture of success I could learn world trade Or try to map the ocean When you're dead In hospitals and freeways When you're dead In resting homes and clinics When you're dead It must be nice to finish When you're dead I've had it with you And Mexico can fuckin' wait And all of those French films about trains 'Cause I'm not scared But I'd like some extra spare time I'm not scared But the bills keep changing colors When you're dead In hospitals and freeways When you're dead In dress shirts and neckties When you're dead In apartments and on beaches When you're dead They say California is a recipe for a black hole And I say I've got my best shoes on I'm ready to go (ready to go) Ready to go Ready to go I'm ready to go Ready to go Ready to go Ready to go I'm ready to go Ready to go Ready to go Ready to go I'm ready to go Ready to go Ready to go Ready to go I'm ready to go These are times that can't be weathered and We have never been back there since then These are times that can't be weathered and We haven't been back there since then These are times that can't be weathered and We have never been back there since then These are times that can't be weathered and We have never been back there since then
- youtube.com/watch?v=q4P-qyoOFNA - Album version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=bmXohgKLzQc - Early live recording.
- youtube.com/watch?v=6ZHJvA7kPZY - Live, 2003.
- youtube.com/watch?v=goi5NyzMd2g - Live, Manchester Academy 2007-11-25.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Offs_and_Landings - Wikipedia - Take Offs and Landings page.