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Nobody, not even Leonard Cohen or Lou Reed, ever sounded more worn down, world-weary, and full of existential angst than Richard Butler, who, with brother Tim, formed Love Spit Love after the dissolution of the really quite magnificent Psychedelic Furs, and then went off in another sonic direction entirely – the voice, that unmistakeable voice, is certainly the same, but compared to the snarling, uncompromising, almost punk-level bitterness of songs like Pretty in Pink, So Run Down, or Into You Like a Train, all gut-punching masterpieces of their kind, Am I Wrong sounds almost tender, full of regret, doubt, ambiguity, and what might be taken as a plea for forgiveness, or at least understanding, presented with an unexpected level of studio polish. It’s described in some quarters as being about a breakup, but I don’t know, the lyrics seem more about setting an emotional tone than telling a story, describing a state of mind without supplying much in the way of narrative:

There’s too much
That I keep to myself
And I turn my back on my faith
It’s like glass
When we break
I wish no one in my place

…before concluding with the resigned refrain, goodbye, lay the blame on luck. Inscrutable maybe, but it sure does conjure a mood, particularly the line about sleep coming with a knife fork and spoon, immediately understandable to anybody whose insomnia invariably gives way only to nightmares.

Compare and contrast:

I don’t wanna drag you down
Or shack you up with me
Or put you where the flowers go
Or get into your mind
I’m into you like a train

Said Tim Butler, talking to Songfacts: We got bored of being constrained by The Furs. I mean, The Furs expect a certain sound out of it. We wanted to broaden our musical palette, if you like.

Geez I guess, eh?

Love Spit Love didn’t last long, or set the world on fire. After their eponymous debut album, they produced only one more, 1997’s Trysome Eatone, before disappearing, though it contained a few gems as well; have a listen to Fall on Tears:

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