Monday, October 5, 2020

Certain Songs #1927: Rilo Kiley – “Portions For Foxes” | Medialoper

Album: More Adventurous
Year: 2004

. . .

And then there’s “Portions For Foxes,” one of the greatest songs of the 21st century, a soaring ode to self-loathing, bad relationships and casual sex that once again piles hook upon hook upon hook.

Over a ringing guitar and a straightforward beat, Jenny Lewis sets the scene:

There’s blood in my mouth ’cause I’ve been biting my tongue all week
I keep on talkin’ trash but I never say anything

And the talkin’ leads to touchin’
Then the touchin’ leads to sex
And then there is no mystery left

That’s just a fucking amazing lyric, right there. And it’s followed the chorus — no dicking around this time, go straight to the good stuff.

And it’s bad news
Baby, I’m bad news
I’m just bad news, bad news, bad news

As she sings how she’s “bad news,” Jenny Lewis sounds like she’s simultaneously resigned to and defiant about being said news. Like she can’t do anything about it, and, actually doesn’t really want to. After all, we’re all gonna die anyways, so why not stick out this bad relationship.

‘Cause you’re just damage control
For a walking corpse like me, like you
‘Cause we’ll all be portions for foxes
Yeah, we’ll all be portions for foxes

I mean the reasons are obvious, right down to the fact that he’s cheating on her. And yet, somehow it doesn’t matter, because maybe she thinks she doesn’t deserve any more. Meanwhile the guitars are ringing and squealing and the keyboards sound like distant bells, and we somehow can all relate and sing along with the extended chorus that ends it.

And it’s bad news
I don’t blame you
I do the same thing, I get lonely too
And you’re bad news
My friends tell me to leave you
That you’re bad news, bad news, bad news

We’re bad news
Baby, you’re bad news
And you’re bad news
Baby, you’re bad news
And you’re bad news
I don’t care, I like you
And you’re bad news
I don’t care, I like you
I like you

Like “It’s A Hit,” “Portions For Foxes” wasn’t ever a hit, but unlike “It’s A Hit,” there is no earthly reason why this song wasn’t a top ten single, at least. I mean outside of the fact that gorgeous soaring indie rock was already on its way out, we just didn’t know it yet?

“Portions For Foxes”

“Portions For Foxes” (Official Video)

“Portions For Foxes” Live in 2003

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