April 11, 2007
Made almost entirely out of neon tubing, “Parakeet” hums and glows like, well, like a mechanical bird. 100% electronic piano, “Parakeet” sounds like the karaoke track to another, bigger song.
That’s a pretty accurate description of its sound, but it doesn’t quite address my favorite thing about the song — i.e., the way it twists a feeling of discomfort and dislocation into an oddly pleasurable sensation. “Parakeet” is essentially about a bird yearning for an escape from confinement and existential dread, and though it seems to find a safe haven by the end of the song, it’s pretty clear from the beginning that it’s all just a fantasy. Though the lyrics are rather bleak and hopeless, the general tone of the piece is that of pensive resignation, not despair or depression. There’s a subtle hint of contentment in both the music and the words, or at least enough to acknowledge the vague comfort of limitations, especially when they are self-imposed.