I'm So Free
By: Beck Hansen, Greg Kurstin

Written by: Beck Hansen, Greg Kurstin

Versions:
  1. I'm So Free
    Available on Colors.
    Credits
    Ilan Rubin: Drums
    Serban Ghenea: Mix
    Beck Hansen: Producer, Vocals
    Greg Kurstin: Producer
    Leslie Feist: Vocals (Background)
    Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Vocals (Background)
 
Lyrics:
I'm So Free [Version (a)]:

I'm on a tangent
Textbook ephemeral
Facts are confusing me
I'm so free now

I'm on a one-man waiting list
I'm bored again
I buried all my memories
I'm so free now

I see the silhouette of everything
I thought I ever knew
Turning into voodoo
I'm so free now

A panic cycle, sentimental
Feel it out until you know
It isn't meant for you
I'm so free now

I'm so free now
I'm so free now
And the way that I walk
Is up to me now
And if I breathe now
I could scream now
You can hear me
From Topeka to Belize now
I'm gonna freeze out
These enemies out
They never see what they got
No need to bend my knees down
Heaven forbid I never cared
Time is running out
Nothing new under the sun
Better get down

I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
Free from me
Free from you
I'm so free from you
I'm so free from you

Who am I supposed to be
In the middle of the day
With no good connection?
I'm so free now

They try to keep me down
With affliction
Alpha male fell asleep in the engine
I'm so free now

A horizontal aspiration
In the basement
With a vacant digital lust for life
I'm so free now

I coin the phrase of the realm
Let it roll into the street
Like a token of sweet nothing
I'm so free now

I'm so free now
I'm so free now
And the way that I walk
Is up to me now
And if I breathe now
I could scream now
You can hear me
From Topeka to Belize now
I'm gonna freeze out
These enemies out
They never see what they got
No need to bend my knees down
Heaven forbid I never cared
Time is running out
Nothing new under the sun
Better get down

I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
Free from me
Free from you
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free now
I'm so free now
I'm so free from you
I'm so free from you
Yea yea yea
Yea yea yea

Hey nobody's going to keep me down
Nobody's going to keep me down
Nobody's going to keep me down down
Gonna do, gonna do, gonna do what we want

I don't want to go
Nobody's going to keep me down
I don't want to go
Nobody's going to keep me down
I don't want to go down down
Gonna do, gonna do, gonna do what we want

I'M SO FREEEEE

I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
I'm so free
Free from me
Free from you
I'm so free now
I'm so free now
I'm so free from you
I'm so free from you
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah
 
The Song:

"I'm So Free" can be found on Beck's 2017 album, Colors.

The song has three sections, each which get repeated. The first section is a rolling, almost glam, groove. Beck's done similar things before, but slower (like "Dandelion" for Charlotte Gainsbourg). The song than uses a quick rap section to build up drama, before exploding in to a heavy chorus. It's almost like a little run through history, from 70s glam to 80s rap to 90s rock. Beck then runs through all the sections again.

There are some guest musicians on the song too. Leslie Feist, who did a Record Club with Beck in 2010, sings backup on the chorus. Beck talked about how he ran into coincidentally at lunch while recording, and liked the idea of getting her voice on such a heavy part of the song. Beck's keyboardist, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., is also credited on backup vocals. The drums are by Ilan Rubin, who is Nine Inch Nails' drummer (and in the band Angels & Airwaves).

The verses are some of the closest to Beck's usual wordplay on Colors, mixing in some unexpected word choice ("textbook ephemeral," "token of sweet nothing") with his own style of idioms ("feel it out until you know it isn't meant for you"). These parts seem to be painting a portrait, a character bored and unaffected, completely lacking in regular connections. Is the "I'm so free now" that punctuates each verse sarcastic? Is this sort of freedom actually good for the soul? It seems not, as in the rap he reaches out from this "freedom," trying to be heard, trying to connect.

In some of Beck's other songs (even on the same record), he uses "free" as the description of what it feels like to have found those connections (love, hope, etc.). Here, though, it's the other side, not being tied down by any of them ("nobody's going to keep me down").
 
Live:

Played live once:
October 24, 2017