iPhone

Album: A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • Irritation is the operative mode on this humorous electro number about the infuriating effects of modern technology. Russell Mael explained to NME:

    "It's using the metaphor of the iPhone to covey the lack of communication that people have and the distractions of other things that are more important in their lives. So it's posing a fantasy scenario of if Adam and Eve had iPhones at that time, what their relationship might have been like, and Abraham Lincoln giving his Gettsyburg Address to people on their iPhones: 'Ahem! I have a very important thing to say but people aren't listening to me!"
  • Asked by Uncut magazine how fed up with modern life Sparks had to get before writing "iPhone," Ron Mael replied: "A simple answer would be very. It's a dangerous thing for a band of over 30s to be commenting on the ill effects of modern technology. However, after my having had numerous near head-on pedestrian collisions, it seems like a topic that needed to be addressed, if only out of self-preservation. By framing the request to unengage from one's iPhone screen in a historical context, it made the complaint and little more whimsical."
  • A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip is the 24th album in Sparks' long career. It's noteworthy for being their first to feature the F-word; in fact it's filled with F-bombs including during this song's chorus.
  • Ron Mael told Q magazine he and his brother like to use objects and words that haven't been used in pop before. "Like the song 'iPhone,'" he explained. "There are tons of songs about wanting the attention of somebody who's taking no notice of you, but making it about an iPhone is a new way of framing that situation."

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