Broken (Lifehouse song)
|Single by Lifehouse|
|from the album Who We Are|
|Released||July 8, 2008|
|Genre||Pop, rock, adult alternative|
|Length||4:15 (New/Radio Version)
4:46 (Album Version)
|Producer(s)||John Fields, Scott Faircloff|
|Lifehouse singles chronology|
"Broken" is a song by American alternative band Lifehouse. It is the third single released from their fourth studio album, Who We Are (2007). Lead singer Jason Wade was inspired to write the song after he visited a friend in Nashville who needed a kidney transplant. Originally released on June 18, 2007 as the fifth track on Who We Are, the song was then edited for radio to give it more of a "rock" feel. The new radio version of the song was released via digital download on July 8, 2008.
The song received positive reviews from critics, as they applauded the use of instruments in the song. The song charted at number 83 and 84 in the United States and Canada respectively, and later charted in New Zealand at number 21. The song's music video premiered on VH1.com on September 16, 2008. It is set in the scene of a tunnel where Wade is walking away in the opposite direction of a car crash. Lifehouse has played "Broken" live on several occasions, including on Soundstage and at the 2011 Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands. A seven-minute extended version is often the final song in their concert setlist.
Background, release and composition
Lifehouse lead singer Jason Wade sings the main chorus of the song.
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The song was written by Jason Wade, who originally finished the song in a hotel room after he visited a friend in Nashville who needed a kidney transplant. It was produced by John Fields and Scott Faircloff. In an interview with Alternative Addiction, Wade said, "Broken is the song that moves me the most. I wrote it in Nashville, about 6 months ago. I was in my hotel room at 3 AM, I was out there visiting a friend... he’s really sick, he needs a kidney transplant." Furthermore, he said, "That [the] song just kinda fell in my lap, and I really haven’t written a song like that since 'Hanging by a Moment' where it just happened within a 15 minute time period." Broken was released as the third single from the album on June 18, 2007. The song was then edited for radio to give it more of a "rock" feel and was released via digital download on July 8, 2008.
"Broken" was described as a pop-rock song with influences of adult alternative. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in common time with a slow tempo of 69 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of C major with Wade's vocal range spanning from the low-note of G3 to the high-note of G5. The song has a basic chord progression of F2–Am7–F2–Am7–F2–Am7–C/G–G. Alex Lai of Contactmusic.com described as a song "[that] features great string use and takes a tender tone". A review from Alternative Addiction said that the song was one of the best Wade has ever written and noted "[that] the more you listen to it, the better it gets."
In the United States, "Broken" debuted at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of November 8, 2008. It fluctuated on the chart for several weeks, before reaching its peak of 83. The song debuted at number 70 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart and peaked at number 38 after being on the chart for three non-consecutive weeks. On the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart, the song debuted at number 38 for the week of August 2, 2008 and after moving around the chart for 32 consecutive weeks, the song eventually peaked at number seven. The song was certified Platinum by the RIAA in January 2013.
The song also charted internationally. "Broken" debuted at number 92 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of January 26, 2008. On July 26, 2008, the song reappeared in the chart and peaked at number 84. It debuted at number 40 on the New Zealand Singles Chart for the week of May 26, 2008. After being on the chart for 13 consecutive weeks, the song eventually peaked at number 21.
The music video for "Broken" was filmed on August 24, 2008 in Los Angeles and was directed by Kiefer Sutherland and Frank Borin. It first premiered on VH1.com on September 16, 2008. Wade and Sutherland then appeared together on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown on September 20, 2008 to debut the music video on VH1. In an interview with Ultimate Guitar, Wade described his experience with working with Sutherland by saying, "Whilst listening to the song a little while back, Kiefer came up with the video's concept. Working with him was a great experience; with all of the expressions and very moments, Kiefer was extremely hands on. With him handling direction, acting in the music video was extremely easy."
The video starts with Wade in the drivers seat of a car, with the other members of Lifehouse in the car with him. The traffic is at a stand still in a tunnel, as a swarm of people have abandoned their vehicles and are walking through. Wade and the band members get out of the car, and begin walking in the opposite direction of the crowd to the other side of the tunnel. Wade pushes through the people, who are in a rush to get to the entrance of the tunnel and is constantly focused on his destination to get to the end. When he reaches the tunnel's end, he sees the wreckage of a car crash with firefighters and paramedics cleaning up the mess. Wade then sees a girl observing what appears to be herself, dead inside one of the crashed car. He then looks to the left, and sees an old man observing himself, dead on the ground. As Wade looks into the other car, he sees himself, also seemingly dead. Upon this, he frantically runs back into the tunnel towards his car. He sees himself in the car with the band members, however everyone seems to be frozen as he bangs on the windows. Suddenly he's inside the car again, and a police officer comes to the window to motion him to continue driving, since he is stopped in the middle of the tunnel for no apparent reason.
Lifehouse performed "Broken" along with other songs on Nissan Live Sets on Yahoo! Music in 2007. On October 15, 2007, Lifehouse performed an acoustic version of the song on VH1. In January 2008, the band performed the song as part of a set list on the PBS show Soundstage. The song was also performed live at the 2011 Pinkpop Festival on June 11, 2011, as part of a set list of songs at the festival.
The song was used in the trailer for The Time Traveler's Wife.
In 2016, Trisha Yearwood covered the song for the soundtrack to the U.S. version of The Passion and performed the song during the live broadcast for the special. Her version peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, and #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart
Credits and personnel
- Songwriting – Jason Wade
- Production – Jason Wade, Jude Cole
- Mixing – Thom Panunzio, Jack Joseph Puig, Florian Ammon, Keith Armstrong, Dean Nelson, Jeff Rothschild
- Engineering – Florian Ammon, Scott Faircloff, Ross Hogarth, Will Sandalls
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||84|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||21|
|US Billboard Hot 100||83|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||7|
Certifications and sales
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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