THE FT TOP 100 SONGS
97. The Beat – “Save It For Later”
So, do lyrics matter? Well, what we have here suggests not – a charming parade of colloquialisms adding up to… what, exactly? What’s “Save It To Later” about? No, don’t tell me. I can feel the answer, just like you can. That mood, that itchy, frustrated, aching, still so so hopeful mood that doesn’t have a name of its own – so let’s call it the “Save It For Later” mood. The mood that you get when you triangulate “sometimes I don’t try I just nah nah nah nah nah nah know” and the heartbreak strings and the supportive sax.
And the lyrics? What are they doing here? Why do I instinctively think “yeah, good lyrics” when they don’t seem to go anywhere, when the record is so plainly driven by its hooks? It’s because I like those colloquialisms, and I think they are doing something useful – the conversational style (“You’ll hit the deck”, “Must be a sucker for it”, “what can you do?” and the snapped “you lot” on which the whole song pivots) establishes the singer as someone ordinary, someone you can identify with in the face of that mood, the one he can’t verbalise and you can’t either. The words give “Save It For Later” a center that you can step into, and their lack of specifics makes the song very adaptable once you’re in it, and that I guess is why it made the list.