Monkey BusinessI Don't Wanna

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2020
Original album - Hotspot
Producer - Stuart Price
Subsequent albums - Smash
Other releases - single

Beginning life as an instrumental composed by Chris, this song—the fourth and final single from Hotspot—has been described by Neil as being about someone who doesn't want to go out partying, but nevertheless finally decides to do so anyway. He notes that he was consciously trying to mimic Madonna's singing style when he recorded the vocal, which largely explains his use of the slang "wanna" rather than the more standard "want to."

It's a remarkably straightforward song by PSB standards. The most interesting part, at least from a lyrical perspective, comes in the final stanza, when the song's protagonist, a "lonely boy" with "his head in the clouds," who has always preferred staying at home to going out on the town, is lifted from his solitude by a song:

In a song he hears that rhythm's a dancer
And it won't take no for an answer

"Suddenly," Neil sings, he decides "reluctantly" to go out in search of "some company." And off he goes. One can't help but feel that music has just set his life on a new, more gratifying course.

On a very personal note, I identify strongly, at least in retrospect, with this song's central character. Back in my high school years, I, too, was a "lonely boy" who would sit alone in my room listening to music, feeling shy, isolated, and misunderstood. Although during the school year I was usually out on Friday nights involved in school sports programs, I would always "stay in" Saturday nights. And when school wasn't in session, I'd stay in Friday nights as well. Music was, more often than not, my only companion, and I would spend hours listening to my stereo. But, unlike this song's protagonist, it wasn't a song that got me out of my room. In fact, in some ways music helped keep me there, at least making my isolation more tolerable. Rather, it was finally leaving home and heading off to college that began my process of removing the walls I had built around myself. Nevertheless, I do see quite a bit of my teenage self in "I Don't Wanna."



Officially released

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