“So deliver me from sin/And give me rock and roll”
There is probably no band on the planet right now that better inhabits the space where the nexus of pop and rock meets unabashed balladeering than Mystery Jets. Plenty of others try to live and work in that crux, but they come off as twee, forced and sappy. Not so for the Jets, who have always understood the transportive power of music. Lead singer Blaine Harrison has aggressively played into the rock star persona, fully committed to its ability to transform his life. So when the band summon rock and roll in one of their songs, you know that they’re doing it with a full-hearted belief that few others can muster. Someone Purer sees rock and roll as a fully redemptive force, with the ability to restore and preserve youth and innocence. I could damn near publish the entirety of the song’s lyrics here, a vividly honest and painful account of dreaming of being someone so different from who you actually are:
I was scratching at my skin hoping the changes would begin/But what lay beneath was blood/Well of course, what the hell was I thinking of?
Won’t you take me down to the creek?/Wash away our sins and sleep/I feel so tired, as though I might not wake at all on the other side/But that’s no way to go
While there are musical flourishes that recall light country (the band did record in Texas, after all) and new wave (which the band has always flirted with), the soaring majesty of the tune is signature Jets. By the end, it’s hard to deny the purifying powers of song. With Harrison belting “Give me rock and roll/and a pure and innocent soul” over a sweeping cacophony of guitars, there’s little room for holding back. If this song doesn’t restore something inside of you, nothing can.