Devin Townsend – Addicted!

Devin Townsend Project – Addicted

Released in 2009, ‘Addicted’ was part of a Devin Townsend four-album cycle that he wrote after “retiring” a year or two prior. The first was dark acoustic album ‘Ki,’ followed by dance party metal release ‘Addicted,’ wacky progressive death tunes in ‘Deconstruction,’ and uplifting folky magic in ‘Ghost.’ 

Devin is a prog virtuoso who has dipped his toes in everything from the aforementioned genres, plus space country, lo-fi ambient weirdness, industrial songs, and more. That’s his music. His lyrics go into everything from hippie nature Gaia stuff to collective consciousness uplifting lines, and even the deconstruction of a cheeseburger—all while not taking himself too seriously.

I’d been a big Devin fan for several years before Addicted came out, an album that totally changed my perception of what you could do with a metal album. I heard the single ‘Bend It Like Bender!’ first, and I was instantly blown away by how fun of a song that was. 

That track makes you feel like you’re dancing under bright, flashing lights with an eclectic group of people just looking for a good groove. All your self-identifying features dissolve when that track comes on, and it becomes a moment of pure magic where only the music matters. 

I don’t mind when some musicians get into social issues, but I’m also glad there are guys like Devin who make feel-good music where the lyrics don’t really matter. Sometimes you just need to blow off steam and have a good time. 

That song became a big part of my workout routine during my sophomore year of college, putting me in a trance-like state where my bodily sensations escaped me and I felt like I was flying. I find that my favorite music is much like my best friendships—they help me to get outside of myself, and simply enjoy my surroundings. And that’s what Bender! and the rest of the album does for me.

Songs like Resolve! continue the Bender! vibe but with a more focused/let’s get work done feel to it. ‘Hyperdrive! ‘makes you feel like a low-battery iPhone feels when you plug it into a charger that’s connected to the wall socket thingy. It just recharges you.

‘Numbered!’ is one of those cool collective consciousness song that makes you feel unity with everyone you know, and everyone else too. ‘Ih-Ah!’ is like a love song that romanticizes the beauty of the unknown, or the mysteries of the universe.

The album closes out with ‘Awake!’, a song about “waking up” and making sense of our lives by deconstructing our experiences and knowledge, which theoretically leads to our freedom. It also modifies a classic Shakespeare line into “All the world’s a stage and we are home again… All the world’s afraid but we are home again.” That line brings me back to watching Disney films as a kid and seeing characters like Simba who are young and fearful, but also strong and brave. Not sure why.

As you probably noticed, every song title in Addicted ends with an exclamation mark, which accurately represents the enthusiasm of the album. Devin’s music has a way of bringing people back to primal emotions like fear, love, and anger. And for me, this album is Devin’s way of tapping into the joy of life from a place of innocence and courage.

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