The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: Face Down

Have you ever had to deal with abuse in a dating relationship? In a married relationship? Have you known friends who have had to deal with this pain? Parents who have had to endure this torture? If you have, then you will probably find The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ single “Face Down” a comforting song.

“Face Down” has all the hooks and grooves a successful pop/punk/rock song should have. The beat is catchy and the guitar licks are well executed. And it does not hurt that the message behind the song is a fairly solid one.

Throughout the song, the singer regales us with a tale of the lead singer admiring a girl who is being abused by her boyfriend repeatedly, and questioning why she stays with her abusive boyfriend.

The song speaks of the girl’s attempts to cover up the signs of abuse and to hide it from the world, yet the singer still sees it. He then blasts into the chorus, asking the boyfriend: “Do you feel like a man/when you push her around/Do you feel better now/as she falls to the ground.”

From there he tells the listener and the boyfriend that there are consequences to actions, and the consequences to the abuse will be the girlfriend leaving her boyfriend. And by song’s end, we are told that: “Face down in the dirt/she says, ‘this doesn’t hurt’/she says ‘I finally had enough.'”
She leaves the abusive relationship. She finds the strength to move on and leave him behind.

I enjoy this song for its strong view on the evil of domestic abuse. I wish at times the singer would step in and act himself instead of letting the abuse continue, but sometimes we do the same thing, sit back and watch. So I suppose this is an even more real look at the topic. In the end, the singer has his resolution, if only the solution played out so simply in real life. I also enjoy that the band has chosen to show that there are indeed, consequences to our actions. So few bands choose to show this anymore.

I have one major problem with this song, however. In the first verse we are told: “Hey girl you know you drive me crazy/one look puts the rhythm in my hand…” I have tried to explain this line away, but the only logical explanation is that the singer uses this girl’s beauty as his fantasy material during masturbation. It cheapens an otherwise excellent song. He is no longer looking at her lovingly, but lustfully. Sure his desire to see the abuse stop is great, but his feelings for the girl are cheap and not based in genuine love.

Aside from that one line the song is solid, and a great statement against domestic abuse. There is a little screaming to go along with the pop/punk/rock for those out there who enjoy it, so the song has a little something for everyone. I recommend the song, in spite of the first line. It can be a great comfort and motivation in times of turmoil that spring from abuse.