Delightful, peppy misery from The Colourfield, a band of my youth. (Thank you, fellow child-of-the-80s Carole Newton McManus for the SorryWatch tip.) A good description of Colourfield’s vibe: “Bouncy, upbeat, orchestral pop with a dark vision at its core…sophisticated new pop: glossy outside, troubled inside.” Frontman Terry Hall (from The Specials and Fun Boy Three) knows how to write a knife-blade apology. I enjoyed this YouTuber’s version, pairing a quintessential witty-melancholy ’80s Britpop song with a quintessential witty-melancholy ’80s American teen movie.
I must note, however, that the last image of the video doesn’t gibe with the last notes of the song. The movie ends on a note of loving hopefulness; a relationship that started prickly is becoming more honest and open. The song, however, runs the opposite way. It starts off sounding like a genuine apology (I’ve done all the wrong things/I said all the wrong words/I was traveling to nowhere when I fell off the rails), but quickly turns into one couched in hostility. It’s passive-aggressive; he makes it clear that he expects the apology not to be accepted. And he doesn’t care. He’s in an utterly stuck relationship in which neither partner communicates honestly; maybe they want to love each other, but they definitely don’t like each other.
And the only thing I’ve got to give is this apology
So I’ll say “sorry”; I hope it will do
Who can you blame when the damage is done?
Nothing has changed; we’re back at square one
And pretending to be having the time of our lives
When nothing much more than ex-husbands and -wives
We’re trying to turn the clocks back
To find the missing piece
But every time we smile
We always smile through bridged teeth
Shudder. So beautiful, so sour, so lost.
Leave me, but never apologize to me this way.