Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Certain Songs #936: Liz Phair – “Never Said” | Medialoper

Album: Exile in Guyville
Year: 1993

Ah, 1993. I’ve pointed out a few times how weird 1993 was, especially from the perspective of nearly a quarter-century later, when artists as seemingly uncommercial as Lemonheads, Belly and The Breeders could have at least minor hits on MTV.

So it wasn’t all that surprising to see the video for Liz Phair’s “Never Said,” on MTV. In fact, given all of the hubbub surround Exile in Guyville, it seemed almost natural.

With a guitar ringing out hook after hook in one channel and multitracked Lizzes offering support in the other channel, “Never Said” finds Liz protesting maybe a bit too much. Especially since, if you do the math, never saying nothing equals at some point saying something.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIII never said nothing
IIIIIIIIIIIIIII never said nothing
IIIIIIIIIIIIIII never said nothing
IIIIIIIIIIIIIII never said nothing

At first, you wanna believe her, of course. It’s her song. And after all, she is claiming to be “clean as a whistle,” and you assume that she’s telling the truth.

But then, she repeats it over and over and over and over and over, and you start wondering if someone who was totally innocent keep saying that they’re innocent long after you stopped asking? It’s like somebody tweeting their innocence over and over and over until you finally assume the exact opposite.

So did she say something? We’ll never know for sure.

Video for “Never Said” (muddy sound)

“Never Said” live on The Late Show With David Letterman

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