Pictures of Success

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Pictures of Success is an indie rock song by Rilo Kiley. It was composed by Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett, sung by Lewis, and first released on 2001-07-31 as track 4 of Take Offs and Landings.

This song is about how depressing it is to compare your own life to those who are far more successful. It talks about having a hard time deciding what you're going to do with your life, figuring out how to afford your bills, dealing with break ups, and generally failing to live up to your potential or even expectations. And yet, in the last part of the song, Jenny explains that she has on her best shoes, so she's ready to go.

I really love this song from an instrumental view. The bass line has a nice constant thumping, the guitar has some wonderful bends. There is a nice long intro, and a couple instrument breaks, each are fantastic. The trumpet, which seems like it would be out of place, fits beautifully. Jenny's vocals are breathy and slightly whining which fit the mood of the song perfectly. Despite the overall gloomy sound and content, I generally feel pretty good when I listen to this song.

I first heard this song after buying Take Offs and Landings a few years after it had been released. I'm pretty sure I loved this song upon first hearing it, though I didn't care much for the repetition at the end.

Two lyrics from this song that I particularly like are, "I'm a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily," and, "but the bills keep changing colors."

Lyrics

Build your own television receiver
Staying home can't be that bad for me
'Cause I'm not scared
But I'd like some extra spare time
Easily earn me big money

I'm a modern girl, but I fold in half so easily
When I put myself in the picture of success
I could learn world trade
Or try to map the ocean

When you're dead
In hospitals and freeways
When you're dead
In resting homes and clinics
When you're dead
It must be nice to finish
When you're dead

I've had it with you
And Mexico can fuckin' wait
And all of those French films about trains
'Cause I'm not scared
But I'd like some extra spare time
I'm not scared
But the bills keep changing colors

When you're dead
In hospitals and freeways
When you're dead
In dress shirts and neckties
When you're dead
In apartments and on beaches
When you're dead

They say California is a recipe for a black hole
And I say I've got my best shoes on
I'm ready to go (ready to go)
Ready to go
Ready to go
I'm ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
I'm ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
I'm ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
Ready to go
I'm ready to go

These are times that can't be weathered and
We have never been back there since then

These are times that can't be weathered and
We haven't been back there since then

These are times that can't be weathered and
We have never been back there since then

These are times that can't be weathered and
We have never been back there since then

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