After yesterday’s entertaining conversation between strangers in bar, played by Bette Midler and Tom Waits, we turn to another strange encounter song, from the Russian-born American singer-songwriter, with the final track from her fourth album, Begin To Hope (2006). Full of brooding, emotional, thoughtful work, she tells the tale from a narrator who could be either male or female, who is sorely missing their partner, and in a confessional style, tells of how they have been tempted to engage with strangers in the city, perhaps in a sexual way. The tone of the song is full of uncertainty, insecurity and self-loathing, and the slow, piano-and-voice format works particularly well, especially when out of this, like the body parts they describe, rise up some brutally intimate but honest descriptions of lechery, temptation and frustration. Steamy.
Summer in the city
Means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage
And I started miss you, baby, sometimes
I've been staying up drinking
In the late night establishments
Telling strangers personal things …
And the castrated ones stand in the corner smoking
They want to feel the bulges in their pants start to rise
At the sight of a beautiful woman
They feel nothing but anger
Her skin makes them sick in the night.
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