Song of the Day #4,540: ‘Video Game’ – Sufjan Stevens

For the top spot on his 2020 list, lead New York Times music critic Jon Pareles chose Sufjan Stevens’ Ascension, the indie artist’s eighth studio album.

Perhaps best known for his Oscar-nominated contribution to Call Me By Your Name, Stevens is partial to dreamy acoustic ballads. On this record, however, he makes heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines, though the end result is still an ethereal wall of sound over which he drapes his half-whispered vocals.

I’ve never had any patience for Sufjan Stevens, and that certainly didn’t change on this album, which clocks in at nearly an hour and a half. I found the parts I made it through repetitive and boring. His move to electronic instruments just makes him sound like the worst of Radiohead.

I do like one song on this album, and that’s the second single, ‘Video Game,’ offered here for your enjoyment. I hear a Peter Gabriel So vibe in this one that I like quite a bit.

[Verse 1]
I don’t wanna be your personal Jesus
I don’t wanna live inside of that flame
In a way I wanna be my own believer
I don’t wanna play your video game
I don’t wanna be the center of the universe
I don’t wanna be a part of that shame
In a way, I wanna be my own redeemer
I don’t wanna play your video game

[Verse 2]
I don’t care if everybody else is into it
I don’t care if it’s a popular refrain
I don’t wanna be a puppet in a theater
I don’t wanna play your video game
You don’t wanna be the one who has to pay for it
You don’t wanna be the one who has to change
All you want is what the resumé tells you
I don’t wanna play your video game

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game

[Verse 3]
I don’t wanna love you if won’t receive it
I don’t wanna save the world that way
I don’t wanna be your personal Jesus
I don’t wanna play your video game
I don’t wanna put the devil on a pedestal
I don’t wanna put the saints in chains
I just wanna make my life a little easier
I don’t wanna play your video game

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game

[Bridge]
I don’t wanna be your Julius Caesar
I don’t want it to go down that way
But in a way you gotta follow the procedure
So go ahead and play your video game

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game
(I just wanna go away)
I don’t wanna play, I don’t wanna play
(I don’t wanna play)
I don’t wanna play your video game

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,540: ‘Video Game’ – Sufjan Stevens

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I get a reflexive pretentiousness alert when I see the name “Sufjan.” This song, however is decent enough.

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