Today's downer is an oldie but goodie from Bright Eyes' 2002 Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground called "Lover I Don't Have to Love."
Musically this tune is a pretty basic and not that interesting minor chord rock song. There are some strings in the background to spruce things up a bit, but they don't really do much. What makes this tune great is the lyrics. Damn are they depressing. Basically, boy (and I only say that since our singer is a fella) picks up random hookup and gets it on. Whereas yesterday's song, "Lover's Day" by TV on the Radio, talked about how great love and sex is, "Lover" is just the opposite. Sex is empty and love is "an excuse to get hurt/And to hurt." Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst asks about the emotion, "Do you like to hurt?/I do, I do." Which is why he's looking for "a girl who's too sad to give a fuck" and "a boy who's so drunk he doesn't talk."
So there you go people. Head forth into the land of random hookups with your gritty, dirty sountrack. Bright Eyes doesn't glamorize the casualness of the love but he's not really remorseful about it either. The song is as empty as the event, which makes listening to it a more voyuristic pleasure than taking part would be.
By the way, the next track on Lifted, "Bowl of Oranges" skips along its melody and erases all the depression of "Lover." You just have to do a little work to get out of the cycle of emptiness that the song creates.