156. Darren Hayes – ‘Unlovable’ (2004)

“I had your back, I held you up, I told you you were good enough
It was not reciprocated, you kept affection and yourself apart
You fed your love to me like crumbs to pigeons in the park
Sometimes I think you’re satisfied to see me begging like a dog”

Taken from the album The Tension And The Spark

Men are supposed to be strong and never show emotion, or at least be dignified in any displays of said emotion, but dammit, sometimes I just want to wallow in sadness. There was a time when wallow in sadness was pretty much all I did, and ‘Unlovable’ was the manic, scattered, frantic, depressing soundtrack. Probably the most revealing and personal Darren Hayes song, it is also one of the most impressive.

‘Unlovable’ retains the same electronic production that ran through The Tension And The Spark but unlike the rest of the album, it is not cold or isolated, it is full-on and intimate. Darren’s rapid fire lyrical delivery represent his anger, and the slow-motion chorus (“You make me feel like my father never loved me”) represents his despair. His rage and depression are both given equal time to develop and express themselves, and this makes ‘Unlovable’ an incredible, if uneasy, record.

The key line in the song – “Am I unlovable?” – could have come across horribly, as part of a whiny, emo-style rant. Instead, due to the vocalist and the maturity of the lyrics, not to mention a structure that never loses sight of the melody, it comes over well, getting the point across to the listener without going overboard. It’s emotional, for sure, probably one of the most emotional songs I’ve ever heard, but it’s not emo. It’s just true, and honesty has always been the best aspect of Darren Hayes’ work. Even when I don’t relate as closely to this song anymore, it’s power remains.

Music video:

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