I don’t understand this song

The music? Yes, okay.

The lyrics? A few bad lines — some dodgy rhyming and one particular line which is in a mixture of the past and present tenses. But over all it is fine fine.

But those lyrics with that music? Is it not a slight clash of tone?

Maybe it’s just me. I have never heard anyone else comment on this. It does seem to have been a stupendously successful song. ‘About You Now’ is Sugababes’s biggest selling single ever, which is not bad going for a group that popular.

But every time I hear it, it infuriates me a little bit more. The lyrics are quite melancholic and downbeat. It would probably have made a really good ballad. But the actual music is really jumpy and upbeat. It’s actually difficult to imagine how it could possibly have sounded any happier. It is as though they did a remix version and then decided the remix sounded better, forgetting that it is a completely inappropriate tone for those lyrics.

It reminds me of the original theme tune for The Fast Show.

7 comments

  1. i took the lyrics to be pretty uplifting actually.

    yes, there’s a certain hint of regret going on there, but the key sentiment i take away is one of recognition. the video also resolves with a mutual understanding.

    if the music was downbeat, it would’ve required a key change to resolve the couple’s meeting at the end… westlife would’ve ended up singing it too.

  2. Agreed; that digital drum beat is out of place and overwhelms the song, which could sound better without it.

    Also, 3 1/3 min into the song looks more like a mobile phone advert. Product placement in a music video?

  3. Dawn — the same phone turned up in the Shayne Ward video that was out at the same time, so I daresay they share some sort of record company/management connection and somebody got a nice chunk of money from Nokia. I mean, I’m not saying I watched a Shayne Ward video or anything, I just, err, umm… TMF made me watch it! At gunpoint!

    Ahem…

  4. It’s a pop song and therefore the lyrics are irrelevant. As long as they perform their musical function (supplying the necessary noises to fit with the other instruments), it really doesn’t matter. The surprising thing is that anyone can hear the words at all – I can’t. Maybe it’s a generational thing…

  5. I must admit I’ve never consciously listened to a Sugababes song but…
    The Beautiful South made a career out of fitting jaunty tunes to downbeat lyrics. (Or was it downbeat lyrics to jaunty tunes?)

  6. The lyrics don’t seem all that melancholic to me…

    The one song that wonds me up though is “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers. Absolutely ridiculous lyrics.

    “Bring it back down, bring it back down tonight
    Never thought I’d let a rumour ruin my moonlight ”

    Cringe.