It’s not “What’s wrong?”, it’s “What’s right?”
I’m sure we were all quite relieved when it turned out that Journal for Plague Lovers wasn’t The Holy Bible #2, but it does have some darker spots here and there. All Is Vanity, first and foremost.
Sean’s drums really take the lead on this song, from the relentless push of the verses to the pounding of the chorus. The verse is pretty nifty and all (really like that signature guitar melody) but like with most of Journal, the focal point of the song is in the chorus which in this case might not be musically some of the most original or intriguing, but I’m really digging the way James sings it, particularly “it feels like I’m talking in a foreign language sometimes” part. It’s nothing uniquely special but I like it.
And I guess that easily condenses the whole song. It does stand out a bit with its darker mood but it’s really nothing too grand or special, but manages to be quite the enjoyable little bugger nonetheless.
Errors try to resurrect the ghosts of Chemical Brothers’ Manics remixes. It’s the kind of necromancy that doesn’t need to be done, even if the result is mainly uninteresting rather than plain crap like the CB Manics remixes. The remixed version is just… flaccid. And if you want more alternative versions, there’s the demo version from the Journal special edition bonus disc that features just James and acoustic guitar – it’s your standard acoustic version quality and nothing particularly mindbogglingly great.
This is the other song on Journal that Picturesque takes its lyrics from. It’s very weird to hear them in another song, even if this is the original context.