Single Review: 3 Doors Down “Let Me Go”

Let Me Go
Album: Seventeen Days
Year: 2005

Lead singer Brad Arnold is troubled and confused which leads him to break up with his girlfriend in the respectful “Let Me Go.”

A reassuring guitar opens the single. While he likes being with his girlfriend, he can’t pretend that he is the best match for her. He will only cause her anguish. She should be someone who will not burden her with their problems. (“One more kiss could be the best thing/But one more lie could be the worst/And all these thoughts are never resting/And you’re not something I deserve.”)

He’s concerned about her and how she will take it. The pressure is too much and it’s overwhelming him. (“In my head there’s only you now/This world falls on me/In this world there’s real and make believe/And this seems real to me.”)

The drums and guitars get louder, creating an urgent and low-spirited tone. Arnold says in the chorus that while his girlfriend cares for him, she doesn’t know him very well at all. He’s conflicted. He wants her in his life but doesn’t want to damage her, either. but knows it’s best for her to move on.(“You love me but you don’t know who I am/I’m torn between this life I lead and where I stand/And you love me but you don’t know who I am/So let me go/Let me go.”)

He fantastizes about what life would be like if he wasn’t miserable. But he ends up shutting out his girlfriend. He knows it will turn into an unhealthy relationship if she stays. (“I dream ahead to what I hope for/And I turn my back on loving you/How can this love be a good thing/When I know what I’m goin through.”)

He can’t ignore his distress. But when he hits rock bottom, she will be the only one who will be able to help and understand him. (“And no matter how hard I try/I can’t escape these things inside I know/I know when all the pieces fall apart/You will be the only one who knows/who knows.”)

After the chorus is sung twice, Arnold says “you love but don’t know” at least six times to end the single.

Arnold breaks up with his girlfriend as gently and honestly as possible in “Let Me Go.” He doesn’t want to play games nor does he want to lead her on. He needs time alone to figure himself out. He implies, though, that it’s not really over in the last verse.

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