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One More Hour

One More Hour


by Sleater-Kinney


Some people find Sleater-Kinney abrasive. Corin Tucker's voice is too screeching and in-your-face, and the lyrics are direct and cutting, often touching on political themes and sparing none.

"The songs are really personal. They're really honest, even if they're sometimes unpleasant," says drummer Janet Weiss, quoted on CNN.com. "The lyrics evoke so many emotions. Our analogies are visual and the metaphors are direct. Corin and Carrie are singing about things they care about. I feel it."

True to Weiss' explanation, the songwriting in "One More Hour" centers around a couple of simple bits of imagery and direct metaphors. The first image is a sad one: two lovers in a room, spending their last hour together as lovers. The second image is more subtle: a dress and shoes left by the done-wrong lover that the other one keeps on wearing. The song's last verse concludes with a plea: "Take off the dress/Take off the face/I'll hold you close/Before I leave." The image is complete, and it is that of a girl begging for a last moment of shared vulnerability before she walks away from her lover. The dress and the shoes become a sort of wall that the lover puts on, and Tucker begs her to let down her guard one last time. Tragically, the other woman is right there, responding and trying to understand (Carrie's lines: "I know it's so hard for you to let it go…I know it's so hard for you to say goodbye"). This is one of those intimate, incomplete break-ups, and the song conveys the bittersweet feeling of that last window of time together.

The most wrenching part, however, is the line that leads us into the end of the song: "Don't say another word about the other girl," Tucker cries. Whether "the other girl" is just a metaphor, or the narrating voice has really been cheated on, Tucker need not say more. Her defiant line reveals her trying desperately to control their final moments. It is a plea that evokes one of the most vulnerable feelings to fit into a break-up song: desire. Just as we start to really share in that feeling of wanting, the song ends in a rushed way--painful, but true to the real life feeling it conveys. "One More Hour" is over, and with it, that last hour of vulnerability also seems to end forever. For the suckers among us, it's hard not to go back and listen again and again.

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