Everybody loves a subliminal message in music and perhaps Tool are one of the true masters of this art form. On their song ‘Intension’, which features on their fourth LP10,000 Days, only people who had their ears firmly to the ground who would have heard this secret message.
The album received a Grammy award for ‘Best Recording Package’ and sold half a million copies in the first week, topping the Billboard 200. Tool wouldn’t release another record for 13 years following this album and that in itself is proof that they like to overthink every last detail in their music—which includes this subliminal message from their 2006 effort.
10,000 Days was greeted favourably as another example of Tool’s extreme musicianship with the band being lauded for their technical ability. The album had somehow still progressed from their last record five years before and they also experimented more so than on previous records, which is where ‘Intension’ comes in.
The hidden messages within ‘Intension’ could quite easily be slept on as there is so much going on within their music at the same time that it’s quite hard to focus in on specific thing at each time. However, if you listen very closely with the song played backwards you can hear a message that you previously would have missed come bizarrely to the forefront of the song.
“Listen to your mother. Your father is right. Stay in school. Listen to your mother. Your father is right. Listen to your mother. Your father is right,” the song states. On the first reading of these fairly simple lyrics, you may not think much about them but the longer you read them within the hidden context, the more that comes to the surface about them.
The lyrics can, of course, be interpreted in a number of ways but one possible interpretation of them is to encourage people to think outside of the box by drilling in these lyrics about conformity.
It is a clever take at how the Western world secretly manages to indoctrinate your mind into doing what the machine wants you to do in filling the role that society wants you to do, without you even realising. Take a listen, below.