March 10, 2008
Unfortunately for the character in “Disappear,” all of his epiphanies have come too far after the point when they would have been useful, and he’s stuck looking backwards, trying to figure out just where he went wrong. That said, the character is not awash in a sea of self-pity — if anything, he is too busy admiring his reflection upon the surface to dive into his sadness. The song comes close to falling into the Michael Stipe pep talk category, but ultimately, its advice rings hollow. “The only thing worth looking for is what you find inside” rings out, but if it has any truth, it has been co-opted and corrupted by the singer’s apparent narcissism and nihilism. It’s hard to feel bad for the guy — he’s made himself into an emotional apparition, and if we take him at his word, it’s exactly what he wishes to be.