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Tom Odell’s ‘Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About’ Captures the Weird Feeling of Silence in a Relationship

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell sums up the slow end of a relationship through his heartfelt song, “Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About.”

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“Just another thing we don’t talk about” – Tom Odell

When relationships start to go bad, it’s human nature to start thinking about ways to preserve them. Instead of addressing issues head-on and having those tough conversations, we tend to gloss over them for a while and try to come up with alternative solutions. But sometimes this leads to absolute silence and no resolution. by Tom Odell Just another thing we don’t talk abouttackles this idea through a wistful, soulful melody. Odell’s soothing, heartfelt voice, accompanied by piano, are the only two things he uses to compose this song and the rest of his album.

The best day of my life – Tom Odell

Released on October 28, 2022 via UROK/mtheory, “Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About” is the fourth track from the English singer-songwriter’s new and fifth album. The best day of my life. His album is accompanied by a mini documentary series on YouTube highlighting the creation of some of the songs. In episode three, he discusses the process of “Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About”.

“I guess from my experience so far or where I stand, what really destroys relationships are the things you can’t talk about,” Odell says. “The longer you don’t talk about it, the bigger the problem becomes. I think what I’ve observed, at least, is that you can go through anything if you talk about it and are able to talk about it. But if you’re not, it can get really destructive.

Tom Odell © Rory Langdon-Down

The song takes place over one night but struggles with loss of communication over time. The song begins on a rainy day at the train station as a character returns home. But quickly dives into the possibility of a dying relationship.

How you been?
I can not complain
It’s been a long time
I’m glad you came

In these few lines there is a sense of distance as it seems the two characters haven’t had a conversation for a while. The question “How are you?” is actually the only one answered out of four requested throughout the rest of the song.

coffee in a bottle
Driving way too fast
Did you have a drink?
I wouldn’t ask
I don’t want to think
About the past

As the piano continues to play softly, we receive the first unasked question as well as the first refusal to speak. Here, the character is afraid to ask the question “Have you had a drink?” because of the turmoil it might bring. So, instead, they resort to silence.

As the song progresses through its chorus, the repetitive words, “Maybe it’s time to work things out / Say some things we should say out loud,” become a cry and a plea for the desire for this difficult conversation. Further emphasizing this concept, he stretches the syllables of this line as it repeats throughout the song. It evokes that desperation someone can feel as the end approaches, where the voices in your head are screaming louder than the ones coming out of your mouth.

Shall we have a beer?
Should I tell a joke?
And keep this sinking ship afloat

When the song reaches the other two questions, again, they are not spoken out loud. But it shows how much someone craves even small talk and how the relationship has resorted to unfulfilling talk. But these questions also involve how they will do anything to avoid the questions that need to be asked.

It’s not what you did
It’s not what you said
It’s silence we choose instead

Although Odell’s voice remains in the same steady, soothing tone, the intensity begins to build. As he chants the word “instead”, he pulls it out, mimicking the relationship. There’s even a shift from ‘you’ to ‘we’, showing that they’re both responsible for the silence surrounding it. These last two lines also give the final chorus a certain urgency. The feelings that have been bottled up lead to the explosion of the final verse. The lyrics imploring one last time, “This could be the time we worked things out / We could say some things we should say out loud.” However, it ends with the lyrics, “It’ll just be another thing we don’t talk about,” implying that the issue never seemed to be resolved. And as Odell said in his documentary, “It can get really destructive. »

Tom Odell © Rory Langdon-Down

Odell, with the help of visual artist Manshen Lo, created short animations for the music videos for four songs from the album, including “Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About”. They use the same character in all four films. In an Instagram post, Odell explained the significance of the films and the character, saying, “It was important to us that An [the character] has no specific gender, nationality or age. It was important because the things that inspired this album the most are the things that affect us all, wherever you are in the world, when you were born, whatever clothes you wear, whoever you choose to wear. love, choose to identify with, choose to be. Behind these many identities that distinguish us from each other, there is a common experience of being human. And the longer I live, the more I realize that it is more beautiful and more complex and more fragile and more shared than I could have ever imagined.

Odell tackles a variety of relatable situations and emotions in his new album. While “Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About” focuses on the end of a relationship, other songs focus on other real and raw human experiences. He mentioned in the second episode of his documentary series, “Smiling All The Way Back Home,” “That feeling you get when you know you’ve met someone who’s going to change your life and that’s the best feeling in the world. world. It is an uncontrollable joy. And how “Best Day Of My Life” is about trying to be more aware of the present. Each song brings its own unique take on reality.

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“Just another thing we don’t talk about” – Tom Odell

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