Apostrophes are important. Don’t confuse what’s implied by “Gods’ Dice” with what would be implied by “God’s Dice”. Easy mistake to make, but a millimeter can make all the difference in the spiritual world. Jeff Ament’s power pop/punk track slipped onto Binaural at the eleventh hour, replacing an earlier version featuring “Sad”, “Fatal”, “Education”, and “In the Moonlight”, and many fans to this day don’t believe it was a fair trade. But “Gods’ Dice” has endured and weathered mixed reactions to be performed as recently as the rarity-filled Vic Theater show in August, 2007. Ament’s statement in 2000 that he was still trying to figure out what his own song was about is key. I hope he’s still trying to figure it out. The ability for an artist to allow themselves the freedom to create something that they themselves don’t fully understand is not to be underestimated. Songs reveal themselves over time to musicians just as they do for listeners. And though the core idea behind a song is usually static, connotations and loci of importance often shift. The basic gist has to do belief or non-belief in God, figuring out the role of fate vs. free will, etc. And as no conclusions are given, all ends relatively open, how one approaches the song, including Ament, is always in flux given the time in one’s life. This is not the same thing as leaving a song so vague as it could be about “anything”, which most of the time is a dreadful crime. Instead, “Gods’ Dice”, despite not boasting any particularly revelatory or memorable moments, shows demonstrates a distinct style and method in Ament’s work, a thread that can be traced and followed, and which separates the bassist from other musicians who have tried to write occasionally for their respective bands. Good, bad, or indifferent, the man does write with purpose.