I know I wanted "Spin" to be a romantic album. At the time of writing it – like many moments in my life – I was not in a relationship. So it became much more an exercise in imaginings and fantasy. I wrote songs that described the kind of love I dreamed of; as opposed to the kind I was experiencing.
I get a lot of requests to talk about songs and what they mean, and right now, these are some explanations or stories behind ones I feel I can explain.
“Strange Relationship” began with the lyric "do you love me…“ and that’s all. It was a question I was applying to a friendship I had at the time, where I was torn between my feelings of companionship and my yearning for more. It was a situation where in some ways we were keeping each other single because our friendship prevented us from meeting anyone outside of the union. Our friendship so strong, it was satisfying many emotional needs. Although there was no romance or desire. So that became the basis for the song. But of course poetic license crept in and today the song is more about the erratic nature of most love affairs and the dramas that lie within.
Many of the love songs weren’t literal. They were imaginings. “Insatiable” is one of those imaginings. I was really describing my ideal of love, how I wished it someday might be. Contrary to many opinions about the obvious sexual lyrics – the song is about love. I really wanted to convey the sacredness of making love in a monogamous loving and committed relationship – and how that act is almost spiritual when you’re really in love. “I feel like a better man just being in the same room…” May favourite lyric ever.
“Heart Attack” really is an angry song. I can’t be any clearer than that. I felt betrayed and lied to. I was disappointed. I was disillusioned. I wrote a song about it. It felt good!
“I Miss You”. One of the first songs I wrote for Spin. I think it’s simple and to the point. Sometimes love songs can be too syrupy. I think simple is best. This song is how I feel when I really dig someone. They leave the room – and I miss them. The bridge of the song, where I sing ‘It’s such a hard life and most of the time I’m just surviving…’ is actually very personal and touches me every time I sing it.
“What You Like”. Let me tell you a story. I was in a bar one night and someone was singing a version of this incredible Joan Armatrading song called ‘Love and Affection’ where she sings the lines ‘Thank you. You took me dancing. Cross the floor. Cheek to cheek’. And it was a song about gratitude for that feeling, that spark you share with a mutual attraction. The bar in particular was the opposite of romantic and there were a lot of drunk and miserable lonely people in the room and I was stuck by the fact that it seemed that everyone in that room really just wanted to be loved. So I wrote my song. All about how fortunate we are when the miracle of love touches you. Even if that moment doesn’t last. It’s still a miracle and that’s what I wanted to capture. That gratitude and that vulnerability you feel in those hopeful moments where you think that maybe, just maybe. This time it will last!
“Like It Or Not” is really a song about the inability to let go. Knowing that a relationship is over but not be able to accept it. It’s about some extraordinary lengths I went to once to avoid losing someone who was already gone.
Many people ask me about “Where You Want To Be”. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s about questioning the choices you made in life. It’s about regret. It’s about the sadness of parting ways. It’s very personal and very literal so I don’t know if there’s much more I can say that I didn’t say in the song. It’s one of my favourite songs.