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Released: 2024″I Guess” by Lizzy McAlpine delves into the complex dance of a troubled romantic relationship, where lack of certainty and unresolved emotions prevail. It explores the intricate balance of wanting what you can’t have and not desiring what you possess.

Beginning with, “Straighten your tie / We’re not alone / I’ll tell a lie just to bring you home / We dance together / You’re not that good / I’ll tell a lie, but it’s understood,” McAlpine narrates an experience of maintaining appearances in a relationship that’s clearly not in a good place. The “straighten your tie” phrase is emblematic of the attempts to keep up the facade, while the line “I’ll tell a lie just to bring you home” reveals desperation and the willingness to sacrifice honesty for the illusion of togetherness.

The chorus rings out like a lament, “I guess it’s all about timing / I guess it’s all about the things you want but never get / I guess it’s all about trying / To love someone you’ve never met.” Here, McAlpine contemplates the role of timing in relationships, as well as the futile pursuit of unattainable desires. The profound line “to love someone you’ve never met” suggests the struggle to connect within the relationship, trying to love a partner who has become a stranger.

The melancholic second verse continues, “We eat our dinner / Then we undress / And now we’re equal, more or less / Now I am sick, and / You’re probably drunk / You’re saying things and they sound like love.” This vividly portrays the mundane routine of their relationship and its emotional disconnect, the sickness and drunkenness metaphorically representing a relationship mired in confusion and dishonesty.

McAlpine repeats the chorus with a slight tweak, “I guess it’s all about timing / I guess it’s all about the things you have but didn’t want / I guess it’s all about dying / To love someone.” This time, she reflects on the paradox of having something (or someone) but not wanting it, accentuating the ironic tragedy of the relationship. The grim phrasing of “dying / To love someone” underscores the emotional toll this relationship is taking on her.

The song concludes with a poignant wish, seeking clarity and understanding, “Wish it was easy / I wish I knew / What I was doing, but I never do.” The repetitive “Oh-oh-oh” could be perceived as a sigh, a sign of resignation, or the echoed trappings of her troubled thoughts.

“I Guess” poetically encapsulates the emotional turmoil in a failing relationship, displaying all the hallmarks of Lizzy McAlpine’s trademark introspective songwriting.

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