Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)

Album: Selfish Machines (2010)
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  • Vic Fuentes has described "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)" as one of the most personal songs he's ever written with the band. This is notable since the singer has described his songwriting as almost always a very personal process. "I think as long as you take risks and do everything with soul, you are going to get results that nobody else in the world can recreate," he explained to Kill Your Scene.

    The song revolves around the singer's parents and how they lost their house; Fuentes has said the song was written as a gift to them. "It describes how they never let money tear them apart over the years even though they struggled to support us," he told LittleRockerMedia. The song, like much of Fuentes work, shifts between poetic imagery and stark declarations.
  • Lyrically, the song describes the struggles of a working class painter and his efforts to hold together his marriage despite the various hardships he endures. Written from the painter's perspective, the song ironically juxtaposes the painter's own life, often penniless, with the wealthy existence of the people whose houses he paints for a living. The chorus both thanks his wife for her continued love while admitting he'd understand if she left him for somebody better off. Self-doubt, poverty, and the redemptive power of love are all touched upon.
  • "Million Dollar Houses" appears near the end of the band's second album, 2010's Selfish Machines. The album is considered to be an all-around more polished effort than their debut, with stronger songwriting, more intricate production, and increased musical experimentation. In an interview with Rock Edition, Fuentes said that it is "about human nature and our natural tendencies to want, love, and take things. It's about getting in touch with the animal-like qualities that we all have inside us."
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