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Released: 2019

Understood! Let’s take a deep dive into “cellophane” by FKA twigs. Now this is a heartbreaker of a track, brimming with vulnerability and raw emotion, as twigs unpacks the toll fame and public scrutiny have taken on her personal relationships.

The recurring lines at the beginning and in the middle of the song, “Didn’t I do it for you? / Why don’t I do it for you? / Why won’t you do it for me / When all I do is for you?” express a sense of deep frustration and regret. Here, twigs echoes a sentiment many artists feel – the heavy price of accommodating public fascination, or the ‘doing it’ for their audience, at the expense of personal relationships. The ‘you’ might even be the public or a love interest – pop music loves a multi-faceted metaphor.

As she sings, “They want to see us, want to see us alone / They want to see us, want to see us apart”, she’s drilling down on the pressure from the faceless crowd (‘they’), that looms over her relationship. This constant surveillance and appetite for drama sets unrealistic expectations, pushing her to feel alone and ‘apart’ even though she is constantly in the spotlight.

Then in the chorus, “And I, just want to feel you’re there / And I don’t want to have to share our love / I try but I get overwhelmed”, twigs reveals her desire for intimate connection without the prying eyes of the public. But the word ‘overwhelmed’ is key here – it’s like she’s fighting a tidal wave, struggling to handle it all.

The line, “All wrapped in cellophane, the feelings that we had” is a killer metaphor. ‘Cellophane’ here symbolizes transparency, but also protection. It’s as if twigs is saying their feelings are there, visible for all to see, yet simultaneously preserved, creating this paradox that mirrors the contradiction of public love lives of the rich and famous.

The last part, “They’re waiting / They’re watching / They’re watching us / They’re hating / They’re waiting / And hoping / I’m not enough” perfectly encapsulates the toxic nature of celebrity culture. It’s as though twigs is under a microscope, with everyone waiting for her to fail – a commentary that’s more indictment than lament. It symbolizes society’s obsession with watching someone else’s downfall, the sheer toxicity of it all.

Overall, “cellophane” is a powerful exploration of the real-life impact of fame on love, delivered through twigs’ painfully honest lens. It’s a poignant reminder that pop stars are human too, and their personal lives often pay the price for public idolatry.

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