Becoming Human – “Goodbye To When”

 Becoming Human – “Goodbye To When”

Becoming Human – “Goodbye To When” – Single Review

I remember towards the end of last year when I stumbled across this kickass solo-project from artist Jordan Barney, called Becoming Human and a single he’d released called “Scars.”  Having a listen to that track was not only one of my favorite finds of last year, it also led me to his cover of “Another Space Song” by Failure, and it was clear we share a whole lot of the same inspirations when it comes to music.  Some folks just get it, and JB is one of’em…it was no real surprise to me that the next track I heard from him was every bit as stellar as what I’ve already heard from the guy…like I said, some folks just get it.  I highly suspect that just about everything we’re gonna hear from Barney in Becoming Human is going to meet or exceed the challenge of any expectations any of us might have – this dude is gifted & it shows.

I had a hard time writing this review.  Not because the song is bad…good lord, NO…that is NOT the case at all – in fact, he’s absolutely nailed this song in my opinion, 100%.  It was more of a situation like…  Look.  I basically believe that anything that comes out of me during a review becomes some sort of valid commentary…because it’s the music that makes my brain move in whatever direction it does, or something that I hear that touches my heart & soul in some kind of way.  When this review gets published…a song that’s basically a sort of ode to the past and what was…it’ll be my best friend’s birthday.  While I know you’d think that’s a great thing, and it sure sounds like it would be…I also haven’t talked to the guy for about two full years at this point.  I made a stupid choice, and got frustrated with a relationship that seemed like it was falling apart, and preemptively induced its ending rather than doing anything/everything I could have in order to fix it.  To say that I regret that would be an understatement to say the least…I fucked up.  Listening to “Goodbye To When” was a reminder of that, especially when Jordan sings “It’s too hard to say goodbye.  Your goodbyes are way too late.”  We don’t often know when the end of things will take place, but we know when something special starts.  It’s not only “too hard to say goodbye” – sometimes it’s outright impossible, and literally never happens.

“Goodbye To When” had me all up in the feels, lost in the bittersweet nostalgia of memories, trying not to cry and smile because I was lucky enough to have the incredible friendship that I did have for twenty years.  My first bandmate, my raddest roommate, the person I literally started sleepingbagstudios FOR, “and all of this time through the hazard and grime” I kept telling myself that maybe, by my walking away from what should have been a lifelong friendship, I was giving him an opportunity to grow up & evolve.  Maybe he did…I don’t honestly know.  All I know is that I should just learn to accept people as they are.

Anyhow.  Apologies Jordan…I’m not trying to hijack your review here.  Like I was telling y’all earlier – any commentary becomes valid commentary, because music is really all about what it makes us FEEL & what it brings to our hearts & minds.   Your song makes me freakin’ sad Jordan…and I mean that in the best of ways.  The distance of longing, the power of finality, the horrors of permanence…all of that shit scares the hell out of me, and in listening to this song I have to recognize I have to confront how paralyzed I’ve become.  I might never know how to fix what was broken.  “We cut of our line that kept us alive…”  This was no ordinary friend.  This was the guy I looked up to, was always there when I needed him, and was genuinely that lifeline in a world I’ve always felt lost within without him…and life has sucked ever since he’s been gone.  It wasn’t too tough when I lived halfway back across the country, but now that I’ve moved back home, it’s like waking up to a nightmare every single day where we’re both living in the same area, the two most capable minds I know of, incapable of communicating at the most crucial time where we need to.

Maybe there’s time to fix it.  Maybe there’s still time to “harvest the life that was stolen from me,” even if it was me that stole it from myself.  Because “it’s too hard to say goodbye,” especially when you shouldn’t even have to, know what I mean?  We’re not yet dead, and nothing is really over unless you DO get that opportunity to actually say goodbye, right?  Jordan should be extraordinarily proud of how evocative this song truly is.  I’m not claiming it’s about anything I’ve written about…I’m sure in many ways that it’s not anywhere close…but emotion in music, how it speaks to you, and how we interpret what we hear not just with our thoughts but how it makes us feel and stirs our soul…these are the types of songs I want to keep on my playlists at all time.  As artists, to create something that genuinely MOVES someone else, however it might, however that’s achieved…I mean…that should always be the goal in some way, should it not?  When it comes right down to it, we’re exposed to sounds of all kinds, every single day, and are moved so very little by so much noise in the background of our lives as we lead them.  As hard as it was to confront many of the things I felt as I listened to this song over this past several days, I’m thankful for what JB has created in this new Becoming Human single.  Because as it turns out, I guess I’m still Becoming Human myself…and I’m trying to navigate a lifetime that has never made much sense.

Rest assured that, were there any issues from performance to production, I’d most certainly have brought them up like I do in just about every review I’ve ever written dear readers, dear friends.  It was nice to be on autopilot in that regard, knowing that Jordan is a seriously talented dude that doesn’t overlook anything in that regard, a quality writer that invites us to think & feel as we listen, and a musician that understands how to create tidal waves of emotion through the music he’s making in this project.  I didn’t have to question anything with my ears as I drifted around the thoughts this song sent me into…nothing snapped me out of looping this song on repeat and digging right into the sweetness of its melancholy vibes & stellar musicianship.  Great singer, great lyrics, great hooks – “Goodbye To When” has all that and more, I promise.  What it really has beyond all that…is the magic of music, the spirituality of connection, and the grounded perspective of a dreamer that’s lost for the moment, but never without hope.  Or maybe that’s projection…but maybe that’s the same thing.  If a song is speaking to you in ways that nothing else can, it’s always worth your time to listen.  Thank-you Jordan Barney…”Goodbye To When” created a whole experience that might have spiraled straight out of my control and sent me into a frenzy of emotions I’ve long tried to keep at bay, but it was a moment that I very much needed to have eventually, and I’m nothing but grateful for the opportunity to listen.  And I’ll keep listening…a song as powerful and emotionally potent as this one is most certainly deserves to become part of the permanent soundtrack of my life…and likely yours too.

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