camus | Reviewer: JJ | 4/29/13

I can't believe how wrong so many people can actually be, but that is okay, Maynard himself has mislead most of you to make you do some actual research. Do not forget that this man is a professional artist and a brilliant thinker. One must read "The Outsider" by Albert Camus to fully grasp the depth of this song's meaning. Everyone is too distracted by the ideas of drug addiction, but addiction is certainly an element. Two songs specifically on The 13th Step album are titled after famous Albert Camus novels, A stranger 6#, and The Outsider 7#, and I don't think this is a coincidence. Camus was an existentialist philosopher and he wrote at lengths about the 'absurd'. Understanding the absurd life is key to understanding this song. When we live our lives with a misconception about what life is, then we become destructive, we can even become suicidal, believing that life is meaningless, which some aburdists assert. The song is about waking up to the realisation that you are addicted to a misconception about your reality and this misconception is going to inadvertently kill you. This song is about an immenent need for us all to wake up to the fact that life is more meaningful than they had ever imagined. We are not bodies with spirits, but rather spirits with bodies and if any of you are true Maynard fans, you know that most of Tools albums are supportive of transcending the limitations of this restricted material world and expanding your inner consciousness and higher spirit. I know this is not what most people will deduce it means, but I am quite confident that this is it! You're welcome! Peace/Love

Its about addiction | Reviewer: Mike | 12/3/12

Apple is slang for opiates (Pill)

I'm not going to extrapolate about how addiction burns bridges, but

A stranger is written from the point of view from a family member looking at the addict. Maynard was a heroin addict.

I'm actually in recovery from opiates and cocaine and I encourage you to listen to his album with the mindset of an addict.

Step one of all 12 step programs is

1. we admitted we were powerless over <insert thing here> that our lives had become unmanageable. (weak and powerless, pet)

2/3 Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. (gravity)

Sweet insanity | Reviewer: Chelsea lieder | 11/23/12

This song is not about porn at all... Can't glove you even said that. For those less informed of the artist singing his mother was in a coma for a very long time but before she was down, she was going insane. I am dating someone who at times gets very sick and has to be hospitalized. HE IS A STRANGER at these times. This song is about the anger and loneliness people who have their sanity endure "shy away phantom" " your a stranger, what do I care" is just two shining exaples. He wrote numerous songs about his mothers condition. This song is so much more then the above reviews I read. Imagine being in love with ur soulmate and one day they just turn into someone who does not know you ..... Go away you fucking tornado.

removal of love | Reviewer: Madison Deth | 9/7/12

All of your perspectives are..... well, they are yours. This song was a good ointment for my heart after someone I loved and shared dreams and secrets with suddenly vanished and imploded. I am still left with no goodbye or reason or closure. Just stalked on FB or Match. Pretty Sad. The sadness, confusion. denial, and heartbreak and anger- this song was there at the right time to let me know that people get hurt and left in limbo and that questioning and being disappointed is part of the healing process. Thanks for such a great song. Cheers.

i wonder | Reviewer: Mike | 5/29/12

"And I listen for the Whisper of your sweet Insanity; while i formulate denials" of your affect on me."

Me personally, I feel like this song is being sung by the point of view of somebody completely addicted to internet pornography. "The Stranger", to me, means a famous actress or porn star , who the man cannot get enough of. She is someone he doesn't know personally, but he is so addicted to her.

And he knows that this addiction is pushing him further away from other people... "What am i to do with all this silence?"

Just my opinion.

Terrified Child | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/10/11

The album Thirteenth Step is about addiction from different points of view. To me, A Stranger is about the addict from the perspective of a friend. The friend is trying to distance himself from the addict, trying to convince himself he doesn't care, that the addict is a stranger.

a perfect butthole | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/29/11

Mr Maynard said it himself its coming in contact with someone who u thought u had a connection with then there behavior became erratic and out of control kinda like a tornado relationship hints "wont u move away fucking tornado"

the ultimate | Reviewer: tomas bankson | 9/7/11

I personaly believe that the meaning of this song is alot simpler than manards other work. When I listen to this song I see it for what it is, it is him having attraction to someone but not being able to find the words, in the end he implies that he gives up " I'm better off without you tearing my will down" sometimes the meaning of something of is simpler than what it seems. My opinion is that in song that is the case, but everyone is entitled to there different views.

Eye of the Beholder | Reviewer: TWO20TWO | 7/17/11

The lyrics and the music are to be interpreted by the individual who experiences it in his/her own way. No one is right and no one is wrong. I have encountered this many times with Maynard and his art. I get totally different meanings than anyone I've discussed his work with. I don't think it's meant to pinpoint any one thing/feeling per say. Just saying.

Bickering is useless | Reviewer: Josh | 6/1/11

Your all stupid for arguing over the meaning itself, songs mean different things to different people, theres no one meaning, maynard is not fucking with us, he specifically said your all stupid to think theres one meaning. Find your own meaning and dont argue, its useless. Enough said you stupid monkeys.

lack of intelligence | Reviewer: kalem | 5/29/11

You all read too much in to the lyrics, Maynard is well renowned for fucking with people, you think one thing he means another, most musicians are like this, songs are written this way because it makes idiots like you (not all of you) buy it thinking it has some form of deeper meaning and some relevance to your life almost as if the song is written about your life, come to think of it, it kinda reminds me of star signs, Marketing huh?

Another interpretation | Reviewer: Erika | 1/6/11

When I hear this song and absorb the lyrics, it brings to mind someone's contemplation of religion. It reminded me of when I lost my own "faith" or belief in God.
I was raised Catholic, with a Western view of God. As a teen I began to question whether being a "child of God" made sense. Why should I be silent and docile to this entity that gives some miracle, others a lifetime of pain? To believe in religion is a love/hate thing, in my opinion.
God is a stranger we all claim to be so close to, a creator and destroyer all in one.
When I turned to philosophy, I felt I was much better off without all the grief religion gave me. I don't judge others the way I did when I was religious, I understand.

Child Abuse? | Reviewer: Charles | 1/1/11

When i hear this song it reminds me of my abusive childhood.
Verse 1
The abuser comes into the victims life and assuring the victim that everything will be fine. That the abuser has to gain the victims trust before the abuser can have a relationship with the victim.
Verse 2.
Verbal abuse. I listen and wait to hear you call me worthless. So, when i hear it, i pretend its not true.
Verse 3.
Basically, i've seen your type before. You show up abuse me, then you dissapear. Its not the first time. What do i do with the silence? I have no one to open up to and its slowly numbing me inside.
Verse 4
The phantom...abuser needs to leave me alone. My mind is telling me to run away, but im too afraid the abuser will catch me. The "tornado" is the relationship we have. That i'm better off without you destroying my will to live.

Lullaby | Reviewer: Drew | 3/24/10

It's a beautifull lullaby, describing the inexplicable power that a child(newborn?) has over a father....more than likely, a father who is rather reluctant to be a father. I am a father of 5.....and have been a fan over 12 years....the song when I first heard it, made me weep.

Strange. | Reviewer: Michael | 12/21/09

I feel like this is the existentialist having issues with the possibility that a higher power exists. And there are even allusions to possible alien creation.

Cast the calming apple
Up and over satellites
To draw out the timid wild one
To convince you it's all right

Sort of like "hey God, I'm tossing these apples (Adam and Eve reference) above the satellites (current human evolution, technology, etc.). You told me not to eat them so I throwing them in your face so you can do something to show me you exist.

Just as an example I mean. This is certainly an existentialist journey into what he/she regards as possible "bad faith." Am I deluding myself? Am I delusional or is there a God?

Reminds me of Pigeon Feathers by John Updike.