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Released: 2018

“Human” by Kimbra is a pop anthem that grapples with existential concerns and the human condition. At its core, this song is an exploration of one’s perception of the self, a journey through the complexities of human identity, and the acceptance of the hurt as an integral part of the human experience.

The initial verse, “I know what I know, what I know, what I know, what I know” speaks to a degree of self-acknowledgment. It’s the singer taking stock of her own experiences and knowledge, implicitly recognizing that there are limits to what she knows and understanding that personal growth often arises from these boundaries.

She then unfolds a picture of a period when she was “low, so low, so low,” setting the stage for an implied transformation and self-discovery. The emotionally loaded phrase, “I got a heart that’s primal / Cause yeah, I need your love for my survival” stands as a bold confession. It’s a recognition of fundamental human needs, such as connection, love, and acknowledgment which are as primal as our biological urge to survive.

The chorus, “This is what it means to be human / I don’t know much, but I know this much is true / This is what it means to be human / I don’t know much, but I know that I hurt as much as you” is an echo of universal human resonation. Kimbra pinpoints the human capacity for empathy, presenting hurt as a shared human experience. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know much, as long as she understands that the pains and struggles she experiences are shared by others, solidifying a collective human experience.

As the verse dives deeper, “I go where I go, where I go, where I go, where I go / ‘Cause I’m a foreigner everywhere I roam” Kimbra frames herself as a wanderer, navigating through life with an innate feeling of foreignness, regardless of where she roams. She expresses a common feeling of estrangement, lending to the understanding that humans are inherently explorers — both in the physical and metaphorical sense.

The continuous referral to a “primal heart” and repeated confessions, “I confess I’ve been messed up / In denial” demystify the artist’s struggle with acceptance and confidence. It reflects the human inclination for self-deception and the courage it takes to acknowledge and confront our flaws.

“Human” in its entirety takes us on a deeply introspective journey encapsulating the essence of what it is to be human – to be flawed, to feel pain, to seek connection, and ultimately, to keep growing and fumbling through life. Kimbra doesn’t shy away from exposing the raw and primal aspects of human nature, making this song a celebratory anthem of being beautifully and painfully human.

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