Savior (Rise Against song)
|Single by Rise Against|
|from the album Appeal to Reason|
|Released||June 3, 2009|
|Recorded||The Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado|
|Rise Against singles chronology|
"Savior" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their fifth studio album Appeal to Reason (2008). In contrast to the social and political topics normally discussed in Rise Against songs, "Savior" is about forgiveness and broken relationships. It is a punk rock song, with a "frenetic pace" that John Hanson of Sputnikmusic described as reminiscent of tracks from the band's 2003 album Revolutions per Minute. It was released as Appeal to Reason's third single on June 3, 2009.
"Savior" was well received by critics, with praise for its lyrics. It remains one of the band's most commercially successful singles to date. It peaked at number three on both the Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs music charts, and became the record holder for the most consecutive weeks spent on the latter chart with sixty-five weeks in 2010, until "Broken" by Lovelytheband broke said record in March 2019. The accompanying music video depicts actors in animal costumes engaging in a mosh pit.
"Savior" is a punk rock song, and was described by Aaron Burgess of The A.V. Club as an "uptempo anthem". The song's composition is written in the time signature of common time, with a tempo of 94 beats per minute. It follows verse-chorus form, and is composed in the key F minor, with a melody that spans a tonal range of E4 to C♯6. John Hanson of Sputnikmusic noted that the song had a "frenetic pace", which was reminiscent of many of the tracks from the band's 2003 album Revolutions per Minute.
Lyrically, "Savior" deviates from the social and political topics normally discussed in Rise Against songs, and is instead about forgiveness and broken relationships. It tells the story of a couple who have recently split up. The two attempt to reconcile their differences, with lines such as "I don't hate you, boy / I just want to save you while there's still something left to save." Critics have characterized the lyrics as "poignant", and "poetic".
Lead vocalist Tim McIlrath wrote the lyrics. While writing the lyrics for Rise Against songs, McIlrath will often sing nonsensical words over completed melodies, in order to identify the lyrical tone that each song will eventually convey. For "Savior", McIlrath remarked that while he mostly sang gibberish, he always found himself singing the line "I don't hate you". McIlrath used this line as a base to construct the lyrics and themes present within "Savior". In a 2014 interview, McIlrath commented on how he had originally voted to cut the song from Appeal to Reason, but was eventually overruled.
Release and reception
"Savior" was released on June 3, 2009, as the third and final single from Rise Against's fifth album Appeal to Reason. It remains one of the band's most successful singles to date, and spent a considerable amount of time on multiple Billboard music charts. Reaching as high as number two on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, it spent thirty-six weeks on the chart, the fourth most amount of time for any song on the chart.[a] "Savior" peaked at number three on both the Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs charts, and is the former record-holder for the most amount of time spent for the Alternative Songs chart with sixty-five weeks. It also held the longevity record on the Hot Rock Songs chart with sixty-three weeks, before Awolnation's "Sail" broke the record by spending ninety-six weeks. "Savior" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, denoting shipments of 1,000,000 copies. In Canada, the song reached number sixty-eight on the Canadian Hot 100.
"Savior" was well received by critics. Hanson and Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic both praised the song; Hanson described it as "one of the most inspired songs [Rise Against] have written to date", while Boy wrote that "'Savior' sees absolutely everything come together perfectly to make for one hell of a song". Burgess felt that "Savior" was one of three Appeal to Reason tracks that would "satisfy anyone still uneasy about Rise Against's radio aspirations". Bob Hoose of Plugged In complimented the positive and hopeful lyrics.
The accompanying music video was directed by Kevin Kerslake, who had previously directed the band's music videos for "Ready to Fall", and "Re-Education (Through Labor)". The video centers around actors wearing animal costumes, who in the beginning, engage in a mosh pit. One of the animals, a polar bear, is constantly being punched and kicked by an elephant, and decides to leave. While traveling on a bus, it sees the same elephant limping. The polar bear reluctantly asks the driver to stop and let the elephant on, who sits next to the polar bear, and the two hold hands. Scenes of Rise Against performing and destroying their instruments are intermittently shown throughout.
McIlrath originally envisioned a simple performance video, with the band "going nuts in a parking lot, trashing equipment, having fun and showing the physical nature of Rise Against". However, Kerslake came up with the idea for the animals, as he felt it would be a bizarre element that would keep people watching. Despite its humorous nature, Kerslake stated that there were some political undertones in the video, with the polar bear representing endangered species, while the elephant represents the Republican Party of the United States.[b]
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Appeal to Reason.
Additional backing vocals by Chad Price
Charts and certifications
- Songs that have spent more time on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart include: Pearl Jam's "Alive" (sixty-one weeks) and "Even Flow" (fifty-two weeks), and Luther Vandross' "Think About You" (forty-three weeks).
- The elephant is the official symbol for the Republican Party of the United States.
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- Appeal to Reason (liner notes). Rise Against. DGC Records, Interscope Records. 2008.CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Rise Against; 'Savior')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- "British single certifications – Rise Against – Savior". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 20, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Savior in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "Alternative Songs Year End 2009". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
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