Throwback Thursday: “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap

This song is one of the more visceral memory access points for me. Every time I listen to it, it takes me back to a time when I was living in another city and was just beginning to settle in. I picture the house I had and the friends I spent time with; how we’d walk those streets together. Maybe that’s one reason why this song will always be bittersweet to me. It’s a reminder of a time gone by. The lead singer’s voice is also high and plaintive, reflective, and it makes me reflect, too. “A moment, a love, a dream aloud.” The lyrics are full of the passion of youth: “Songs of desperation/I played them for you.”

In all honesty, what really makes the song stand out, for me at least, is the urgency of the beat. It blends perfectly with the lyrics. They’re like a heartbeat that starts out slow and then just hits at the chorus: “Won’t stop ’til it’s over.” And those lines repeat, over and over, until the fadeout of the song. Yet you’re left with the feeling that you want to keep running. The beat carries you forward.

The title itself is also interesting: “disposition” means what your mood, your nature, usually is. What is the importance of it being “sweet”? Maybe it’s the way the narrator feels about their love interest. Whenever they’re together, that sweetness and love suffuses them. And that’s the joy of the song, too. It lifts you up and urges you to belt the lyrics as loud as you can.

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