Friday, January 02, 2009

#99 McFly, "Lies"

And I'm just one drink away
And I'm back in Wonderland like it was yesterday
And I hope you get to hear me say,
"Who gets the last
Who gets the last
Who gets the last laugh now?"

Oh, McFly. One of my first true musical loves, at least post-my music renaissance. The group I've respected and loved, championed, cheered for for years. Why is it, then, that I've not been as swept away by their latest material as much as I want to be?

Let me just try to focus on the great things about this single that enabled it to make this list, much as it's difficult to ignore the voice in the back of my head pointing out that the group that probably would have topped my 2006 singles list had a I done it and that went top 20 and probably should have gone higher in last year's list is just barely making the countdown this year. First off, how on Earth are they able to afford videos like this post-apocalyptic one when they're now (by choice) on their own record label? Secondly, though, "Lies" is a dramatic horns- and string-featuring pop-rock attack. Early on in the single's life, I read something from the group about how the single was probably lyrically their darkest one yet and did a mental double-take--really? I mean, sure, it was complaining about a bad girlfriend and her lies, but that's hardly unusual; I'd only ever noted the lyrics for the clever reference to their second album they contain. Skeptical, I went back and listened to the song again, actually paying proper attention to all the lyrics this time...and couldn't believe what I'd missed out on all the previous times. Midway through the song, the references to weapons and destruction switch from metaphors to reality, a reality that ends up with a girl dead in a car accident while the narrator gloats. The situation then gets portrayed more as fantasy or what will happen than as what's actually happened, but it really is darker than I was expecting. If anything, though, that only enhanced my appreciation for a song that was already fun enough, even if tinged in musical darkness, to get plays from me. Bold, though not quite as bold as McFly can get even while making great songs ("Transylvania," which is a bit similar to "Lies," is both bolder and more fun than it), "Lies" is another fine addition to the McFly canon. I just hope their next album will contain more songs to love--for a group with songwriters and musicians as excellent as those of McFly, good is just simply not good enough.

Find it on: Radio:ACTIVE


eurovisionessex said...

I was lucky enough to hear their first ever public performance of this song live, and I have to say I was blown away by it. For me, 'Lies' is by far their best record to date, even beating the wonderful 'Transylvania' and 'All About You', but I think it's been somewhat lost in a rather forgettable album. I was very disappointed with 'One For The Radio' and still can't understand why it was chosen as the lead single, but the cynic in me says that perhaps one of the downsides of firing your management is that you lose the commercial savvy that they bring to the mix.

Although I've never been a huge fan of this band personally, I've seen all their live UK stadium tours due to the demands of an obsessed younger sister. They are fantastic live performers and really do deserve to get as wide an audience as possible. I'm afraid, though, that 2009 may not prove to be a terribly successful year for McFly unless they move on both musically and in terms of their image. When watching their performance of OFTR on the Christmas special of the UK music show 'Top of the Pops', their usual onstage outfits of 'punk' t-shirts and the odd pair of skinny jeans suddenly seemed terrible out of date. I'm not suggesting it's time for the Westlife suits and bar stools by ay means, but I just feel their onstage presence needs to be titivated a little!

Poster Girl said...

Were you really? I envy you--I've never seen them live! It could be very well a song that only grows and grows with time--it's a song I find impressive and would argue for and vouch for forever, the sort of thing I really think should have won them more fans. "One For The Radio" has never clicked for me, and certainly not as the defiant "you really love us" anthem they wanted it to be--it's by far my least favorite lead single for an album from them. I hate to admit it, but I've wondered if the flying solo route has hurt them in that commercial sense, too.

You have no idea how fantastic it is to read reasoned thoughts about the band--it's so difficult to talk about them in that way due to reactions on either end of the scale.