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God Bless Your Black Heart

The Paper Chase

About “God Bless Your Black Heart”

The third full-length album by The Paper Chase, God Bless Your Black Heart (2004), saw them shifting away from the rawness of Young Bodies Heal Quickly, You Know (2000) and Hide The Kitchen Knives(2002) towards a more ballad-oriented sound. That’s not to say that the band had gone soft, though; although there are full string arrangements this time around, they are accompanied by threats like “Your smoke alarms and barred windows can’t save your house,” samples of serial killers, and all the chaos and dissonance that we’ve come to expect from The Paper Chase.

There is very little information from the band regarding this album’s meaning, save for this one excerpt from a 2004 interview with The Dallas Observer:

More than anything else, God Bless is the kind of record you have to listen to the whole way through to enjoy properly. (Though “enjoy” might not be the right word.) After all, you wouldn’t read just one chapter of a book over and over, watch only one scene from a movie. It’s a story with a beginning, middle and end, told from a pointed point of view. [John] Congleton hesitates to explain what God Bless Your Black Heart means, exactly, preferring to hear the rest of the band’s take on his ideas.

[Sean] Kirkpatrick comes closest: “I just perceive all of these characters who have done really horrible things to the people in their lives, and when these people die, they’re struggling to find peace with themselves and with these other people.”

“That’s definitely a part of it, at least from what I was going for,” Congleton says. “I think the idea of the album is: Does anybody really regret any bad things that they do except for the fact that they’ll be punished in some way? Do we ever do anything good for any selfless reason? Death is something really easy to bring into that. Because no matter what religious belief you have, if you have a religious belief, I think all of them believe that everything you do comes back to you. With that in mind, is that the only reason why you’re good to people, because you get to go to heaven? Or you get some prize? Or you get to feel better about your pathetic existence? That’s the global message. I’m not saying people are evil. I’m just saying it’s easy to think that way.”

“God Bless Your Black Heart” Q&A

Album Credits

Album Credits

More The Paper Chase albums