"Seems Uncertain" is the sixth track of 311's seventh full length album, the 2003 release Evolver. The song clocks in at three minutes and thirty five seconds.

311 has never a group to hit on many heavy duty or political topics. Sure, they've touched on gun control ("Guns are for Pussies" from their self titled album) and their bassist, P-Nut put out a cry to free all the non-violent drug offenders in the liner notes of their CD “From Chaos,” yet it isn’t really their style. Yet in my interpretation of "Seems Uncertain," it might be one of the quintet’s most political songs and although hitting on a topic they’ve covered before, it’s a very heavy duty look in it all.

it seems uncertain
i wish it was forgone
to know the version
that made life go wrong

wish i had a clue
what rearranged our molecules
mostly wondering
it seems uncertain

While "Seems Uncertain" does convey a world of complete unity (a consistent theme in 311's music) it takes a rather pessimistic approach, which is very rare for a 311 song.

in times of trouble
everyone joins a team
no one waves a flag
for all human beings

no one's excited
unless they are divided
someone's going to have to give in
it seems uncertain

I remember first listening to Evolver and getting so lost in the current relevance of those two verses. I thought back on the past two years. I thought of the September 11th attacks on America, the economic recession that cost millions of people their jobs, our nation on edge and our conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Certainly, our nation was, and still is, in times of trouble.

After the attacks, everybody seemed to band together as one. Yet once that post-tragedy unity wore off, everybody declared a side. All of a sudden everyone seemed to be using the words "for" and "against" in extremely heated vocal exchanges with other people. People proudly would state "I'm a Republican and I think..." or "I'm a Democrat and I think..." People found themselves in times of trouble and it seemed like all they were ready to do was to pick a side, get riled up and "wave the flag" for their side. Even the best among us found ourselves in this situation at some point. We “waved flags” for our “teams” instead of trying to do what's best for the entire human race. And, as the song suggests, that kind of mentality won't get the human race anywhere.

i'd like to be
one of the faithful millions
but what i see
is an excuse for the killing

your denomination
should be a private thing
how about spirit
for all human beings

The fifth verse in the song might ruffle some feathers. It stresses that belief in God is a beautiful thing and the perspective of the song is even one of envy for those with faith. Yet, it also sees faith as an all-too-common excuse for people to declare war, commit acts of violence and acts of murder.

Yet the next verse states that if one has faith and keeps it as a "private thing," that one can be faithful without having to use religion to justify war, violence and murder as well as having all faith in all members of the human race. It also puts forth the idea of denomination, falling into a certain class or state, co-existing with a unified human race.

how could something well guided
turn out to be divisive
mostly wondering
it seems uncertain

The final verse of the song is perhaps the most cryptic of them all. If you see the song as completely about our modern day and age, it could be seen as an allusion to those days after the 9/11 attacks in which we were truly united and then broke into a very divided group in America. Or you could see it going back to the beginning of time to cite that the idea for the human race was ruined when humans decided to divide themselves into many groups. Either way, the final message of the song remains clear: The unification of the human race as one "seems uncertain."

Shortly before the release of "Evolver", 311 co-front man Nick Hexum, who wrote both the music to and lyrics for "Seems Uncertain" spoke on the official 311 website about each of the songs on the album. He stated that he was hoping "Seems Uncertain" would be a single off the album, because he wanted to spread his idea of the world not being able to be unified until “somebody gave in”

"Seems Uncertain" speaks of fascinating aspects of human behavior in times of trouble and chaos. It touches on the human idea of a divided people and how we divide people not for a need to belong to a certain group, yet more for the need to be divided. The song paints an idealistic image, of a world in which everyone can be different, celebrate their differences, and still live in a truly unified human race.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.