Okay, the music framing the verses of Passion Pit’s “Take A Walk” sounds eerily similar to an earlier recording by Cold War Kids entitled “We Used To Vacation”. There is even a fragment of a lyric in “Take A Walk” that seems to echo a similar sentiment in “We Used to Vacation”. (In the Passion Pit hit the character in the song reminds us “… times could be much worse.” The narrator of “Vacation” – who is also married with children – tells us “things could be much worse.”) The CWK song dramatizes the harrowing effects of chronic alcoholism of one man and his family with pinpoint precision.
Passion Pit (basically singer/songwriter Michael Angelakos and some hired guns) widens the scope of the lyrics in “Take a Walk” to focus on the devastating effects of the economic recession on American families and the reasons behind the crash. Considering that “my partner called to say the pension funds were gone/he made some bad investments/now the accounts are overdrawn” and the narrator “borrowed too much/we had taxes, we had bills, we had a lifestyle to front” it is small wonder the character in the song can only afford to take a walk to blow off steam. After all, he says, “I am no criminal, I’m down on both bad knees/ I’m just too much of a coward to admit when I’m in need.”
The hook is all Angelakos’ own. In fact, it’s that deathless hook in the chorus that seems to have captured the minds and hearts of the folks in charge of marketing Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos.
In the commercial I saw, the menacing militaristic beat of the original recording now serves as a soundtrack for a photo montage of mouthwatering tacos. The subversively catchy chorus has been converted into a harmlessly addictive TV jingle.
What’s next? Using the Beatles’ fiery “Revolution” to sell running shoes?
Oh, wait, they’ve already done that …