The opening verse of the album's first track "Follow" goes "I'm wide awake under the hammer of the sun / smack me down if I choose to run/turn me around if I choose to run.." Indecision under the California sun is a recurring theme on the album, and while I'm not offering the answers as to what's right and wrong, the chorus of this song provides an invitation to come along for the ride: "If I could make you follow, I think that we might find our way...even only for today".
"Holiday" embodies the joy of letting go of responsibilities and it opens up the floor a bit more for the listener to sink into the album. The climactic bridge of the song rattles off a list of fearful outcomes ("I could be a vagrant / I could be a freak / I could be the one you trip on when you're walking down the street...") but resolves to not go there ("I don't wanna talk / I'm just hoping that it starts to come to me").
"Wave" depicts the time when you step outside yourself after a long time churning and see how you've changed. ("Who is this I'm stuck inside a wave"). The song acknowledges the reliable cycles of time like the moon and the tide while also noting the loss of the self within it. There's a sense of familiarity but also a sense of detachment from the present moment.
"Something I Want"
"Something I Want" provides a smacking call back to reality for the listeners who've been lured into the album's mysterious realms. While "Wave" presents a relaxed sort of acceptance of the losses at hand, "Something I Want" brings a greater sense of urgency as it takes a look at society's role and the psychological delusions that result.
If you're listening on vinyl, "California" opens Side B of the album. It reintroduces the listener to some the album's main topics but on a more personal level: leaving New York for LA, finding disillusionment on the way. The path is the path, for better or worse: "A dream so real / it keeps me from sleeping / California / follow the leader / 'til you're born again..."
Across the album, I'm generally dealing with society and the world at large as the subjects at hand. "Fragment I" acknowledges that there's another character though, somewhere in mind, and there's nothing so powerful as that memory making me think about the decisions of the past.
"Fragment II" goes in a little deeper on this former love. The first verse opens, "Ran away from you / I don't know a good thing..." and I'm back on my own, looking within for the answers I can sadly recall getting from that relationship.
"Model" brings a sense of peace and closure to the album. Much of what motivated the journey at hand came from a desire to fit into an elusive vision in mind, a model of success not so clearly defined. "Model" suggests it's time to put away those visions and embrace the actuality of my surroundings.
This instrumental piece felt like the perfect ending for the album. It feels like a reflection on what has taken place but with an eagerness to push forward to new territory.