One Random Single a Day: “Human” (2005) by Carpark North


So, out of these last four random daily singles I’ve been reviewing, this is the third in a row that comes from the first ten years of the 21st century. This is not so much a complaint, as I’m just letting the randomizer take its pick, but it also leaves me pining for something a bit more retro! On the plus side, though, this is the first pop single that was actually a pretty big success upon release – well, at least in its home country. Carpark North are a Danish band that have found many of their albums, EPs, and singles reaching the top of their country’s pop charts. This particular single was their third number-one hit, and their most successful release up until that point.

Musically, it fits right in with all the typical pop rock that was getting popular around this time –  think something like Jimmy Eat World or Yellowcard. Syncopated power chords in the verses (which, honestly, sound a lot like “My Sharona” to me) with a much looser rhythm during the chorus keep it within the basic framework as songs like Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” or Lenny Kravitz’s “Lady”. Lyrically… I’m not too sure what it’s about. I’m guessing that the speaker of the song is frustrated with his former partner’s cockiness and reluctance to admit when they’re wrong. But that alone is confusing, because the song begins right away with the line, “You’re so right and you don’t think you’re wrong”. So… when they are right, they won’t admit that they aren’t – but why would they? This probably just boils down to English obviously not being the band’s first language; it definitely shows.

So regardless of the meaning of these lines, we could probably surmise that he “broke off” the relationship because he couldn’t get used to the other person’s negativity (positivity? I don’t know…). Which brings us to the chorus, which just seems like a big cop-out. The whole song hinges on the “we’re just human” sentiment to somehow tie in a moral to the story… but there is no meaning. I wouldn’t doubt if these lyrics were strung together with little rhyme or reason other than they just sounded cool, which I think is one of my biggest problems with a bunch of these radio rock hits of the 2000’s. And no, not even that peculiar robot voice in the second chorus can help things – it’s just silly. In terms of structure, it gets even weirder. While many songs play by the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure, this one is more of a verse-verse-chorus-verse-chorus thing. And the verse after the first chorus is just the first verse repeating itself! It’s really just the shallowest song imaginable, and I really struggled with writing this review because I found very little interesting qualities about it. The lead vocalist’s voice isn’t half bad, really, and even the drumming is pleasantly clean and sharp. Other than that, I’ve nothing else to say about this one.

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