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Sick Cycle Carousel

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"Sick Cycle Carousel"
Lifehouse sickcyclecarousel.jpg
Single by Lifehouse
from the album No Name Face
ReleasedJune 4, 2001
FormatCD single
GenreAlternative rock, post-grunge
Length4:23 (album version)
3:59 (edit)
Songwriter(s)Jason Wade, Scott Faircloff
Producer(s)Ron Aniello
Lifehouse singles chronology
"Hanging by a Moment"
"Sick Cycle Carousel"

"Sick Cycle Carousel" is a song by American alternative rock band Lifehouse. It is the second single released from their debut studio album No Name Face (2000). The track was written by Lifehouse lead singer Jason Wade and Scott Faircloff, who says he felt freedom when writing songs for the album. American record producers Ron Aniello and Brendan O'Brien produced and mixed the song, respectively. Musically, "Sick Cycle Carousel" is a moderate rock song with an influence of soft rock. The song was released on June 4, 2001 by DreamWorks Records.

The song received positive reviews from critics, who applauded how the producers brought out Wade's vocals over the instrumentation. It managed to chart on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart at number 21. The track later charted in the Netherlands and New Zealand at number 71 and 47, respectively. An official music video for the song premiered on on June 27, 2001 that features effects to make objects look smaller than they really are.

Background, release and composition[edit]

The song was written by Lifehouse lead singer Jason Wade and was produced by American record producer Ron Aniello.[1] When asked about his experience with making songs for No Name Face in an interview with Billboard, Wade said, "DreamWorks has been amazing in letting us make the record. They're super-artist-friendly. They let us make our record the way we wanted to make it. It's the best label we could be on."[2] In an interview with MTV Radio, Wade explained the message behind "Sick Cycle Carousel" and said, "It's one of those songs I'm really afraid to put an explanation to as far as what it's about for me personally. I don't want it to lose its mystery and mystique. Everyone interprets it differently. It's funny hearing people telling what's it's about to them because then I can go, 'Maybe that's what it's about.' It's got a weird mystique to me still."[3] It was released on March 25, 2002 by DreamWorks Records.[4]

"Sick Cycle Carousel" was described as being a rock song with an influence of soft rock.[5] According to the sheet music published at by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in common time with a moderate tempo of 92 beats per minute.[6] It is composed in the key of A minor with Wade's vocal range spanning from the low-note of C4 to the high-note of G5.[6] The song has a basic chord progression of F–G–Am7–F–G–Am7.[6] John DiBiase of Jesus Freak Hideout called it "a song about the preverbial merry go round we feel like we're on when we keep committing the same sins over and over".[7] Liana Jonas of Allmusic applauded on how Aniello and O'Brien "brought Wade's vocals and lyrics to the forefront of the mix" for all the songs on the album.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"Sick Cycle Carousel" had limited commercial success after the success of Lifehouse's first single, "Hanging by a Moment". The track debuted at number 33 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart for the week of May 26, 2001.[9] After it spent 12 consecutive weeks on the chart, the song eventually peaked at number 21 for two consecutive weeks.[10] In the Netherlands, the song debuted at number 84 on the Mega Single Top 100 for the week of December 8, 2001.[11] It eventually peaked at number 71 after it spent six consecutive weeks on the chart.[12] On the New Zealand Singles Chart, the track debuted at number 50 for the week of August 19, 2001.[13] The song then peaked at number 47 during the week of September 2, 2001 before leaving the chart.[14]

Music video[edit]

The scene of the new area from the boy's bed as it shows the stairs that lead up to the light in the music video.

The music video was filmed in June 2001 at an airplane hangar at Los Angeles International Airport and at a Lifehouse show in London. It was directed by Marcos Siega, who is most notable for his work with Blink-182 and Papa Roach.[15] In an interview with MTV, Wade talked about the idea behind the music video and said, "This is the closest we'll probably ever come to being in a Tim Burton fantasy world. It was done in a real 'Jack and the Beanstalk' style. And Marcos used some camera tricks that make it look amazing. From far away, the stage set looked normal, but when you get closer you get smaller and it gets huge. We were being filmed in front of this bookcase that was like 150 feet high. It's a real visual trip."[15] It premiered on on June 27, 2001.[16]

It begins with a shot of Wade's face and the guitar introduction. He then sings the first line of lyrics, which is followed by a transition to a boy lying on a bed shirtless. As the video switches between Wade and the boy, it zooms on the bed frame (which has the same face from the album cover) and opens into another area. The boy is then seen walking around the new area looking around until he goes up nearby stairs. While going up the stairs, the video switches between shots of the boy going up the stairs and Wade singing the lyrics. Once up the stairs, the boy looks around and then walks into a bright light that he sees nearby. He walks through the bright archway into a dark room as the video switches to Lifehouse playing the song. After this, it switches to the boy as he looks up and the camera zooms out to reveal that he is in a giant maze. He then walks back where he came from to find that he is in a house with Lifehouse playing on the television. He then jumps off a window sill and appears tiny as he walks up to a book that is bigger than him. It then transitions to Lifehouse playing the song as the boy gets up on a chair which slowly transcends into his original bed. The video then zooms out on the boy lying on his bed and then switches to the band. It ends with the boy walking into darkness and Wade's face looking on the floor.


On January 10, 2001, MTV confirmed that Lifehouse would serve as an opening act on a 14-day tour for Matchbox Twenty, who were promoting their album Mad Season (2000).[17] The tour started February 27, 2001 in Minneapolis and ended on March 29, 2001 in Universal City.[17] In July 2001, Lifehouse went on tour with 3 Doors Down as an opening act on 12 select dates, and performed songs from No Name Face, including "Sick Cycle Carousel".[18] Before they went on tour with 3 Doors Down, the band went on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 25, 2001 and performed "Sick Cycle Carousel".[19]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits and personnel adapted from Allmusic.[20]

Track listing[edit]

  • Australian CD single[21]
1."Sick Cycle Carousel" (edit)3:59
2."Hanging by a Moment" (acoustic version)3:19
3."What's Wrong with That"3:52
  • European CD single[22]
1."Sick Cycle Carousel" (album version)4:23
2."Hanging by a Moment" (acoustic version)3:19
3."Trying" (live version)5:34
4."Sick Cycle Carousel" (video)4:23


Chart (2001–2002) Peak
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[23] 71
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[24] 47
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[25] 21


  1. ^ "No Name Face – Lifehouse". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  2. ^ "Thanks To 1st Single, Lifehouse's 'Moment' Comes On Dreamworks". Billboard. Vol. 112 no. 52. Nielsen Business Media. 2000-12-23. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  3. ^ "Lifehouse: Living The Moment (Sick Cycle Carousel)". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  4. ^ "Lifehouse : Single : Sick Cycle Carousel". Geffen Records. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  5. ^ "Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  6. ^ a b c "Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  7. ^ "Lifehouse, "No Name Face" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  8. ^ "No Name Face – Lifehouse". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  9. ^ "Sick Cycle Carousel – Lifehouse". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  10. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  11. ^ " – Dutch charts portal – 12/08/2001". Hung Medien / Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  12. ^ " – Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel". Hung Medien / Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  13. ^ " – New Zealand charts portal – 08/19/2001". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  14. ^ " – New Zealand charts portal – 09/02/2001". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  15. ^ a b "Incredible Shrinking Lifehouse Shoot 'Carousel' Clip". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  16. ^ ""Sick Cycle Carousel" by Lifehouse". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  17. ^ a b D'Angelo, Joe (2001-01-10). "Matchbox Twenty Light Up Road With Everclear, Lifehouse". MTV. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  18. ^ "3 Doors Down Hit Heartland With Lifehouse, Tantric". MTV. 2001-05-08. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  19. ^ "Lifehouse Take A Ride On The "Sick Cycle Carousel" As New Video Is Completed". Mitch Schneider Organization. 2001-07-06. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  20. ^ Sick Cycle Carousel at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  21. ^ "Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel (CD) at Discogs (Australia)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  22. ^ "Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel (CD) at Discogs (Europe)". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  23. ^ " – Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  24. ^ " – Lifehouse – Sick Cycle Carousel". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  25. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-06.

External links[edit]