Has anybody else noticed how good the music in the Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials is? Besides these commercials having a great message (be responsible, let’s all look out for each other), they jam. I don’t know if it’s just some great ad agency out there who should simultaneously be applauded for bringing us beautiful art and despised for reducing it to a tool to sell us insurance, or some summer intern in a basement cubicle who would much rather be working in a record store, but who ever is making these music choices is doing good work.
Most recently, Liberty Mutual has a commercial that features humans being humans and making mistakes like humans do. Fittingly, the song they chose was “Human” by the band The Human League. Full disclosure: I love New Wave, period, so they could have picked most any New Wave track and I would have put it on this list. If they were talking about life insurance, Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” would be perfect, for example. And you can play A Flock of Seagulls or Spandau Ballet at anytime apropos of nothing, because those bands will always be apropos of everything. Clearly, I am not the most unbiased observer here.
By far, my favorite song in the series is “Amen Omen” by Ben Harper (and the Innocent Criminals) from his thoughtful album Diamonds on the Inside. This song sounds like somebody made sweet potato casserole, but with a granola crust. Or it like fried chicken with a whole wheat, gluten free waffle. That’s kind of how the album sounds, though: acarajé with hot sauce, falafel with matzo bread, spicy pork belly with scrapple. It’s an unpretentious mix of the audio comfort food of each of cultures that it draws upon, rooted in deep history and comfort, and it all blends perfectly, something like lukewarm lullabies in your left ear competing with “Set it Off,” in your right.
They’ve got a couple of songs by a band named Hem. The one most people seem to go nuts over is “Half Acre.” This song makes me feel like I need to be outside somewhere, far, far away from electricity and car exhaust, my skin bathed in the last rays of amber light as the sun disappears beyond the horizon. This song takes me to a place where all the food is organic and all the meat is free range, and the only thing anybody uses in their hair is fruits and berries. You know how when someone comes from outside on a late spring or summer day and they smell like outside? I like that smell, and that’s what with song smells like.
Liberty Mutual went to the well again with Hem’s song “The Part Where You Let Go.” This song feels custom made for season finales on the CW. If you start playing it and think you haven’t heard it, just wait for the chorus and you’ll be like “oh, yeah, that song.”
So basically what I wanna know is, when can I go on DatPiff or iTunes or whatever and get that Liberty Mutual mixtape/compilation album? I don’t think the State Farm jingle has anything on “Human,” and Dennis Haysbert does a great job on the AllState commercials but he should be using the chocolate velvet voice to host a Quiet Storm. If he was DJ Goodhands spinning all the slow jams, they’d be selling a lot more insurance policies, be. By the way Dennis, I know those AllState checks are good and whatnot, but I’m glad to see you out here acting because you killed it in 24 and while you can’t see them coming down my eyes, I had to let the song cry when you got killed in Heat (Michael Mann is probably my favorite director of all time. At least top 5). I actually watched Far From Heaven which I liked better than the critics did, and you were excellent in the Splinter Cell series. Come on, Hollywood! Give Dennis more big roles. You can’t put Will Smith and Denzel in everything, even though you try. Haysbert has skills. Also, Boys II Men just has three members right now, so you can have Dennis replace Michael McCary so he can do the deep voice talking parts when you perform “End of The Road.” Hey Dennis, I’m just looking out for you, doing you a solid, trying to make sure a brother stays paid. I know you appreciate it, don’t worry about emailing me or calling me or anything like that. You and me, we’re here.