Top 40 single reviews

You Look So Fine
Album: Version 2.0
Year: 1999

Shirley Manson is in lust with another woman's boyfriend in the burning "You Look So Fine."

Haunting keyboards and strings open the single, setting a secretive tone. She nonchantly says that he's handsome. She wants to rip the heart out of his chest, stomp on it, and then offer him hers. She wants him to feel the worst pain he will ever feel. Manson will then heal him with her love. She's obsessed with him. She says that he has confined and submissive. She is enslaved to him. Whenever she hears his name, she must follow the voice.

"You look so fine/I want to break your heart/And give you mine/You're taking me over/It's so insane/You've got me tethered and chained/I hear your name/And I'm falling over."

In the chorus, she tells him she's not his type. She is not immune to his charms nor does she take them for granted. She won't allow him to cheat on her.

"I'm not like all the other girls/I can't take it like the other girls/I won't share it like the other girls/That you used to know."

In the bridge, she lingers on her compliment. However, he is not aware that she even exists. He has rejected her multiple times. She's wept many nights wondering why he doesn't love her. However, in her misery, she discovers that she is done living for him.

"You look so fine/Knocked down/Cried out/Been down just to find out/I'm through/Bleeding for you."

In the second verse, she sees him once again and she is hopeful. She is as persisent as she was before. She tells him that she can be anyone he wants. She desires to sleep with him. She tells him that she's yearning to have him. His girlfriend is irrelevant. He can be her own, even if it's for one stolen night together.

"I'm open wide/I want to take you home/We'll waste some time/You're the only one for me/You look so fine/I'm like the desert tonight/Leave her behind/If you want to show me."

The chorus is sung again.

In the third verse, she says it's as though she is an extension of him. He sinks into her every thought. It's euphoric for her. She wants him nestled in her mind, never to leave. He has permission to control her. She tells he can fake being loving her. She wants a sign from him that he's willing to evenlope her into his mind, too.

"You're taking me over/Over and over/I'm falling over/Over and over/You're taking me over/Drown in me one more time (you're taking me over)/Hide inside me tonight (over and over)/Do what you want to do (I'm falling over)/Just pretend happy end (over and over)/Let me know let it show (you're taking me over)."

In the final section, she says they will have a romantic goodbye. He will leave her, sobbing and wishing that he could return to her. She would like him to join in her fairytale, even though she knows something dangerous is likely to happen.
"Ending with letting go/Ending with letting go/Ending with letting go/Let's pretend, happy end/Let's pretend, happy end/Let's pretend, happy end
Let's pretend, happy end."

The spooky, clandestine strings end the single.

Manson is fixated on a man whom she observes from afar. It's unrequited. But for her, there is still a relationship going on between them. She feeds off on his fear and hesitation of her. It's like he's sending a signal to her that she may have a chance.

In her vocals, she is shadowy. She hides her obsession by being fanciful and vulnerable. Nonetheless, there's a hint that she is an intimidating, troubled person. However, it's adds another interesting layer to the single. She thinks her emotions are ordinary crushes other people feel. But the man she has fallen for is aware, making him inescapable to her. However, she takes it as a positive sign.

The music arrangement is also breathtaking. The strings express Manson's subconcious. In the opening, it's like a heart is pounding. For the verses, they are clenching and unflinching. In the bridge, they are menacing. At the end, they are showing that she has lost her grip on reality.

The single's humanization of its character and stark instrumentation make it among one of Garbage's best singles.

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