Schoolboy Errors

by Worldview

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about

1. UNDERACHIEVER: The first schoolboy error is missing that lesson where we are told that most things in life come through chance, luck or “contacts”, and talent and artistic integrity alone won’t pay the bills. You were too busy smoking behind the bike sheds or learning to make lo-fi Sixties-influenced rockers like this song. (NB this song features a kazoo – a real one, not a sample!)
2. PARTY’S OVER: The second schoolboy error is blind faith in an unregulated free-market and an illusory prosperity founded on credit, resulting in the colossal global financial crisis of 2007-???? (I’m talking to you, Reagan, Thatcher, Greenspan, and you, Brown - you should have known better!). However the ruinous impact of the worldwide slump on millions of lives does happily give rise to the creation of an affecting melancholy Lennon-ish piano ballad like this one.
3. USED TO IT: The third, related schoolboy error is reacting to this situation with the imposition of swinging “austerity measures” which only making worse, while the planet degrades and global warming turns Kent into a vast lake or something. Overall it’s frankly not looking good, as this chugging electro-commentary, the audio lovechild of Bill Hicks and LCD Soundsystem, definitively proves.
4. NO SYMMETRY: The fourth schoolboy error is not accepting that Men Are From Venus and Women Are From Mars, or some such. That men like shoes and can’t read maps while women are only after one thing and cause all wars. These differences may of course be social constructions which serve the powerful, but that’s by the by. And this sleek technological track imagines what New Order might have to say on the matter.
5. GOLDEN BOY: The fifth schoolboy error is believing your own early publicity; prepare yourself for greatness and glory and then watching it all happen to someone else. This ditty of wistful resignation recalls Lloyd Cole or The Smiths at their most jangly, and ends with the coded plea, “spare any change, Guv?”.
6. CAN’T WIN ‘EM ALL: The sixth schoolboy error is thinking that by reading pick-up artists’ manuals and NLP self-help bullshit books you will become all powerful in the dark arts of manipulation and ruthless self-advancement, and thereby overcome your own subliminal lack of self-esteem. Your contrived routines will in fact be screamingly obvious to anyone with around half a brain. So in this disco-grooved funky track, Oliver “puts down” a pick-up artist (see what I did there?).
7. WE WANT ACTION: The seventh schoolboy error is buying into mega-budget shoot-’em-up blockbuster films which glamorise and desensitise us and glamorise senseless violence and destruction. Let’s face it, we all do it. This deceptively laid back mandolin-featuring yarn was inspired by Sylvester Stallone’s star-studded action extravaganza The Expendables (2010), which Oliver has never seen.
8. NADJA: The eight schoolboy error is seeking out an enigmatic, unpredictable, unhinged and captivating artist’s muse, only to do a runner and abandon your heroine when things get a bit edgy and she properly loses her marbles. This was the experience of Andre Breton, the leader of French surrealism, as recounted in his classic book Nadja. Oliver has read it so that you don’t have to and translated it into this atmospheric Gallic-flavoured acoustic strum.
9. GONE NATIVE: The ninth schoolboy error is trusting our correspondents in the corridors of power not to get co-opted by the powerful. The story of the fearless maverick journalist/reporter/commentator/satirist who is slowly but surely seduced into the Establishment is a drearily familiar one, but has possible never been told to a thumping synth-rock swing conjuring a collective whinge involving Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode and The White Stripes.
10. SOUL IN DISTRESS: The tenth schoolboy error is living an aloof, cynical life and not letting others into your heart, or inviting yourself into theirs now and then. The album thus ends closes with an uncharacteristically tender and sentimental song of the kind which would be criminally overlooked on a new Paul McCartney album, and will be far more overlooked here. This one’s dedicated to Lucy (and Rabbit).

credits

released February 6, 2012

Written, performed & produced by Oliver Shaw.
Art by Cozmic.

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about

Worldview UK

Worldview is the alias of Oliver Shaw, an Oxford UK-based songwriter, performer and producer fusing rock, pop and dance sounds with insightful lyrics and the melodic sensibility of the classic 60’s acts. Worldview's new 2014 album 'Pop Philosophy' is a mature reflection on life, loss and mortality in melodic, guitar-led rock songs with elements of electro, folk and funk. ... more

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Track Name: Underachiever
Well you’ve always been so certain what you’re down here for
But you’re finding out it’s not quite what they want you for
And it’s said that every famous traitor had his price
But you’re going to be a failure if your fee’s too high

Well I’d say you’ve led a very charmed life up till now
Thinking everything would fall onto your plate somehow
Don’t you see you’ve been a prisoner to integrity
So you’re still a million years from where you’re meant to be

Here comes a major underachiever
That’s the way this world’s gonna see you
Here’s one of nature’s underachievers
Wondering why the world will never look him in the eye

And you can’t explain your strange career trajectory
But to everybody else there is no mystery
No it’s obvious your confidence was just a thought
And it’s not enough to get you to the prize you sought

People say you make your own luck
And you say they just got lucky
But you should aim to make your own luck
You might find they’re onto something

Were you never told it’s compromise that oils our wheels
And that you and life could hammer out some sort of deal
Now it seems that your potential will remain untapped
Yeah it’s clear that your potential will remain just that

Here comes a major underachiever
That’s the way this world’s gonna see you
Here’s one of nature’s underachievers
Wondering why the world would never look him in the eye

A classic underachiever
No one’s gonna tell you they need you
A tragic underachiever
Wondering why all opportunities have passed him by
Track Name: Party's Over
The party’s over now
Over your shoulder now
And claiming that we could defy gravity
Was never a sensible policy

The morning after hurts
Feeling the bubble burst
To find we’ve been living beyond our means
To see we bought into a powerful dream
The party’s over now

And did you believe it would last forever now?
Did you believe we could stay in the air some how?
And do you believe that we’ve reached the bottom now
Or is it going to get worse?

The party’s over now
Of this there is no doubt
We don’t need to wait till the figures come in
You know by the pain what a mess we are in

We should have looked ahead
We could have hedged our bets
Well hindsight, they say, is a wonderful thing
But I disagree cos it carries a sting
The party’s over now

And did you believe it would last forever now?
Did you believe we could keep it together some how?

And the ones who brought us down
Are the ones we cling to now
We seek security
In those good memories
When they say stick with me
Ain’t that an irony?

Yeah isn’t it strange how we still feel indebted somehow?
And did we believe it would last forever now?
And do we agree that we’ve reached the bottom for now
Or is it going to get worse?

The party’s over now
Track Name: Used To It
So everything has changed now
That our golden years are through
And strange events have shaken
The beliefs we all held to
We were lucky to bear witness
To the longest loudest boom
But you’re noticing the difference
Now we’re huddled in one room

All our brilliant minds
They fell asleep on the job
So they missed all the signs
What were we paying them for

Yeah I guess we kind of got used to it
But the good life’s gone for good
Now you’re gonna have to get used to it
Like you never guessed you would

There were people giving credit
Where credit wasn’t due
And the ones who end up paying
Are the likes of me and you
We can’t go through this adjustment
Without a small degree of pain
It’s like giving up a substance
That’s been rushing through our veins

Better tighten your belt
Put a stop to those sprees
It’s not about what you want now
It’s about what you need

Now you’re gonna have to get used to it
Cos the game has changed for good
Yeah you’re gonna have to get used to it
Like you never thought you could

All the glossy dreams in the magazines
They are fading on the page
And the shopping malls and designer stores
Will be relics of our age

Now the temperature is climbing
And the seas are rising too
Soon this pretty little island
Will be shrinking under you

You heard it said that a change
Is as good a rest
You’ll want to know what they meant now
As you look at this mess

Used to it
Now the weather’s changed for good
Yeah you’re gonna have to get used to it
Like you never dreamt you would
Track Name: No Symmetry
I’m a man, believe it or not
I’m a man who knows what he wants
Though what I can get is another matter yet
I’m a fan of all that you’ve got
But I’ll start with what’s on the top
Our meeting of minds can begin another time

Cos we give lip-service to equality
But we’re in the service of biology
And your perfect surface is the calling of my genes

There’s no symmetry between you and me
In terms of what we wish, in terms of what we seek
And all this talk of oneness is just fantasy
There’s no symmetry between you and me
Regarding what we think, regarding what we feel
Before we take things forward we need clarity

I’m a man, believe it or not
Do a turn, you’ll get a response
Though whether you will is another matter still
Can’t escape my hateful desires
It’s the way my brain has been wired
And if I denied it I’d only be a liar

Well I know we’re working for equality
But I’m in the service of the throb I feel
When the mist descends you’re going to get objectified

There’s no symmetry between you and me
In terms of what we wish, in terms of what we seek
And all this talk of oneness is just fantasy
There’s no symmetry between you and me
Regarding what we think, regarding what we feel
Before there’s any progress we need honesty

I will share your hopes and your dreams
If you’ll share what lies in between
Yeah we could be great with a little give and taken

Our aims are never going to be agreed
But time has ironed out a kind of deal
You’ll get what you want if you give me what I need

There’s no symmetry between you and me
In terms of what we wish, in terms of what we seek
I’m sure I’m not the first to say this openly
There’s no symmetry between you and me
Regarding what we think, regarding what we feel
Before there’s any progress we need honesty
Track Name: Golden Boy
No one thought that much of you
No one had a clue what you’d go on to do
But by fate or circumstance
We have watched you make an effortless advance

Well I don’t make predictions
And I never will
But this much I have learnt

It won’t be the golden boy who pulls it off, comes out on top
It won’t be the boy most likely to

They all thought the world of me
They assured me my success was guaranteed
But life don’t pan out that way
And I have to say I’ve made my own mistakes

Well our parents and teachers
Like the sound of their own talk
But this they never say

That it won’t be the golden boy who pulls it off, comes out on top
It won’t be the boy most likely to
It’s never the golden boy who makes the most of what he’s got
It’s never the boy most likely to

Cos if you burn too brightly
And too early on
You’ll burn out before too long
And I’m not too proud to tell you
That I need a hand
That’s if you can spare the time

It won’t be the golden boy who pulls it off, comes out on top
It won’t be the boy most likely to
It’s always an ordinary boy who only wants to make some noise
It’s never the boy most likely to

And I was the boy most likely to
I was the boy most likely to
Track Name: Can't Win 'Em All
This man in the long black coat
His life an eternal pose
Hustling for what he’s owed
And that to him means everything

Rehearsed at all your moves
People are pawns to you
And the lucky ones get used
To service your lust for applause

And at first that applause is deafening
But the problem is you’re not genuine
And be sure there will come a reckoning

Cos you can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all
Oh you’re good but you’re not that good

I could act just like you
I see them coming too
But it is not my groove
To shake them down or take them down

With the aura of the invincible
And a manner that’s irresistible
And a bottomless pit of tricks to pull

But you can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all

When we get the feeling someone’s not quite right
We’re probably right
When we get the feeling we’ve been shown a scam
We probably have

I’m seeing right through you
I know you know it too
And in an instant you’ll be rolling back from your bold attack

I’m a useful guy to know
But too late your chance is blown
I’m going make you learn the easy way
Lying doesn’t pay

Cos you think you can hoodwink any soul
And your methods are undetectable
But you’re nothing if not predictable

Cos you can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You can’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all
You won’t win ’em all
No you’re good but you’re not that good
Track Name: We Want Action
Well the box office returns
They would all seem to confirm
That we want action
We demand action
There’s a world outside your door
But you push past it towards
The scene of the action
The cinema-ttraction
Where the blockbuster release
Gives us some sort of release
So we want action
A piece of the action

And it’s only make believe
But they know how to make me believe

Blame the hateful desire
Of the caveman inside us
Cos he wants action
He demands action
And the thrills and the spilling
Of blood will fulfil him
On screens of action
Primitive action

And it’s only make believe
But they know how to make me believe
Yeah it’s only make believe

On celluloid
They sell us all
Reflections of
Our netherworld
They’re conjuring
What’s better left down there
A tolerance
For violence
That always has no consequence
I’ve seen it all and never left my chair

No these dreams of danger and doom
Can be beamed into your front room
Yeah we got action
On demand action
But you don’t want it your backyard
No that’s obviously going too far
To feel yourself trapped in
The thick of the action

Cos it’s only make believe
And you don’t want to face it for real
But they know we’ll pay to see
All the blows that we’d hate to receive
Track Name: Nadja
I think Breton was on to something
There’s a level beyond the humdrum
And improbable events
That we call coincidence
They hold a hidden meaning like the symbols in our dreams

And they come and they go
These secret signs and clues
And you’re hungry to know
Where they are pointing to
Then you stumble on your Nadja
And you’re sure she holds the answers
She is genius roaming free

I say Breton was on to something
There’s a beauty beyond the humdrum
And its wonders are displayed
In this girl who can’t be tamed
And doesn’t even realise she exists outside the law

And they come and they go
These secret signs and clues
And you’re hungry to know
Where they are pointing to
And they’re beckoning your Nadja
And she’s heading for disaster
But you urge her on all the same

Oh looking over the obvious
For a glimpse of the marvellous
But the edge can be hazardous

We know Breton discovered something
There’s a danger beyond the humdrum
Now you’re watching from a cliff
As she’s lost to the abyss
She’s fallen from the frontier between insight and insane

They come and they go
Like that bright soul you knew
Cos you couldn’t follow
Where she was walking to
So you sacrificed your Nadja
To live madly ever after
Where they’ve thrown away the key
And you thought that she had the key
And you thought it could make us free
Track Name: Gone Native
How am I supposed to find out
What’s going on?
Where am I supposed to find out
Who’s doing wrong?
You’re the source of information
Well that’s what your job was
You’re employed to navigate us
But you’ve dropped your compass

You’ve got too comfortable at the table
With the great and good
Now it seems rude to ask them the questions
That you said you would

Oh no you’ve gone native
You’ve changed places
Oh no you’ve gone native
You’ve betrayed us
Oh no you’ve gone native

We shouldn’t be surprised to find out
It’s going on
And you don’t even seem to see that
You’re doing wrong
There’s never been a straight induction
Into their programme
It’s usually a slow corruption
That you don’t notice

Yeah all that rubbing shoulders
With high flying sorts
Has got you parroting all their lines
Without thought

Oh no you’ve gone native
You’ve changed places
On no you’ve gone native
To gain status
On no you’ve gone native
It’s outrageous

Oh you used to have your finger on the pulse
Now your finger’s somewhere else
Oh you used to wag your finger at their lies
Now your finger’s in their pies

We can’t go investigating
What’s going on
We don’t have the skill or patience
We’d do it wrong
But we should know what’s done in our name
Well that’s what your job was
And you should hang your head down in shame
Cos you lost your morals

Your sense of independence is AWOL
It’s blown away
You might as well get onto the payroll
And go the whole way

Oh no you’ve gone native
That’s where you’ve been lately
Oh no you’ve gone native
Our trust was mistaken
On no you’ve gone native
It’s outrageous
Oh no you’ve gone native
Oh no, oh no
Track Name: Soul In Distress
When you see a soul in distress
You won’t always walk on by
No when you see a soul in distress
You won’t always walk on by

This world has made you wise
And courage made you colder
But that’s no victory
It’s more of a surrender

When I saw a soul in distress
I would always walk on by
Armoured in my own business
Barely offering a sigh

But I’ve found an exception
I’ve found an exception to the rule
Yeah I’ve made an exception
I’ve made an exception out of you

She wears a thinner skin than the rest
And in this she has been blessed
To never give as good as she gets
But give more than she expects

I’ve found an exception
I’ve found an exception to the rule
Yeah I’ve made an exception
I’ve made an exception out of you

If you call out in despair
Well then I’ll probably be there
It’s a sort of guarantee
And no one’s more surprised than me

When you see a soul in distress
You may recover your emotions
Finding that for once you’re prepared
To pour your drop into the ocean

To increase by one the sum of happiness
And relieve the throb of someone’s loneliness

I’ve found an exception
I’ve found an exception to the rule
Yeah I’ve made an exception
I’ve made an exception out of you
I’ve made an exception
I’ve made an exception for the truth

If you call out in despair
Well then I’ll probably be there
It’s a sort of guarantee
And no one’s more surprised than me