“Control (Secretly Sorry)” by JR. JR. – A Song Review
“Control (Secretly Sorry)” is political angst carried in a bullet train, with two brief station stops and an equally brief atmospheric slowdown. The high-speed travel and the two stops are defined by informed, intelligently crafted lyrics. In comparison, the slowdown implies a high level of uncertainty.
During fast-paced vocals, the thoughts are melodic and often disjointed. There are quick-hit references to religion, television viewing, drugs, and poisoned water systems of the inner cities (JR. JR. is based in Detroit, which is about an hour from Flint, Michigan). Twice, the song slows for spoken-word lyricism. The first is a cry for help supported by observations. The second is more of a storyline (“In the four years since college, she’s been dreading all the birthdays…”).
JR JR is Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott. In describing the motivation for “Control (Secretly Sorry),” Epstein noted:
"’Control’ was written on November 10th (2 days after the 2016 election) at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, MI. I woke up late and was driving in our van--which has no radio anymore. Suddenly the melody and the lyrics was in my head, 'careful of who you let control the people that you know oh oh oh.'
I raced upstairs to sing it for the guys, and found that they were starting to write a song around a riff that Bryan Pope was playing on guitar.
Somehow, the song they were playing was the exact same tempo and key as the lyrics and melody that I was singing. It's like we were all writing the song serendipitously in separate locations at the same time. It came fast, and to this day feels like a song that we didn't write--it wrote itself through us."