The meaning behind the music
Have you ever felt like someone was just using you for their own "Entertainment?" I'm sure everyone has, and this song is an attribute to all those who have been used and abused. "Entertainment" describes the process of dealing with being used and abused by someone, only to be thrown away like trash for someone else. It's crushing and devastating to feel thrown away, maybe you should consider yourself lucky that it wasn't worse. If you've been through this kind of relationship, then at least you've been given the opportunity to be loved by someone.
Even if the person you were dating was just using you for their own personal gain, it's so much better than never being given a chance to love at all because absolutely no one wants you. The only thing worse than being used is being so rejected by everyone that they don't even want to be in a relationship with you just to use you, trust me. I'm sure you wish that you would have never been in the failed relationship to begin with, as Phoenix states "I'd rather be alone," but at least you weren't alone your whole life, and someone actually gave you a chance. Someone actually found you worth their time and effort. It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all; believe me, it's enough to make you bitter, more bitter than you may be feeling right now after losing someone. Truth is, people are cruel and heartless; so, sing about it, just like Phoenix.
Analyzing the song for the sake of the music itself
So let's break it down, shall we? Rejection, after love. "Entertainment" actually does contain some confusing lyric information, but it all boils down to simple rejection by another human being after being given the chance to have a meaningful, loving relationship. It's about resentment. It's about being bitter. "Entertainment" is centered around these two emotions, ironically, without anger added to the mix. Phoenix, instead, gives the impression of disappointment having lost, when they only wanted to have.
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The first stanza beginning with "headline from this day on" and ending with "loud volume turned to low," is a perfect example of how Phoenix has created confusion within this song, but don't let them trick you. The first stanza of "Entertainment" was written to help listeners visualize a person giving someone constant reminders that they want to "let go" of their relationship; this concept is followed with the lyric "loud volume turned to low" to help listeners understand that the person receiving these reminders can't handle hearing this concept and they want to turn down the hurt of the words they're constantly hearing. Hence, this stanza is used to help create the idea of a relationship breaking down and falling apart.
The next stanza includes the lyric "I'll take the trouble that you have in mind," which helps to describe efforts of the person being rejected to keep the deteriorating relationship together. This lyric describes taking the mistreatment that the other party member has to dish out, instead of rewarding the mistreatment with rage, in order to keep the peace, and the relationship. The first two stanzas of "Entertainment" involve a very poetic, hidden message kind of way to describe the struggle to keep a relationship that's probably been long over.
The third stanza of "Entertainment" includes the lyrics "I love, I love, I love, I notice. I heard it all before I died, before I knew you," which again might seem a little confusing, upon first hearing. These lyrics help to again describe the struggle to love someone that doesn't love you back. The lyrics describe how a person used to love and listen whole-heartedly to their loved one, but grew tired of trying when they knew their efforts were in vain and wouldn't be reciprocated. This constant struggle left the person to feel cold, empty, and (eventually) dead to the conflict, criticism, and rejection. The statement "before I knew you" only serves the purpose as an insult towards the individual causing the offense, and highlights how the individual taking the offense regrets ever meeting their so-called "loved one."
"Once upon a time would take too long," also included in the third stanza, describes how the offended person in the relationship knows that their efforts to explain to the other party member how they are the one in the wrong is in vain. It would take too long, and prove to be a waste of time and effort, to try to convey to a person how they are causing a break down of the relationship, when they are consumed by blinding rage and insist on putting the blame on the party member not a fault.
The very chorus of "Entertainment" displays how in the end, all attempts to revive the love of the relationship have failed, and the person at fault for the relationship's destruction has moved on with another relationship. It's ironic that the only party member trying to salvage the broken relationship is the party member that is left to be destroyed in the end. Hence, people can be cruel, and heartless (as I've stated before), and the best thing to do when you meet someone like that is to just move on to someone else. Don't waste your time trying to make someone love you, just as Phoenix suggests with "Entertainment," find someone that already does.
Phoenix "Entertainment" lyric video
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kim on October 29, 2013: