We’ve talked about cheater songs in various forms in this article series. It tends to come in two forms, the pro cheating and the revenge against the cheater. “Revenge” could be as simple as breaking up with the person, maxing out their credit cards, damaging their property, or even murder. Not a fan of that last one. There are exceptions like Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” or Cutting Crew’s “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” in which the man is sorry, and I can’t recall a song about the woman cheating and the man dumping her since Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around”, but those are exceptions. It’s usually “yay cheating” or “you’ll pay for cheating on me”.
With the latter, as I’ve mentioned, you can’t leave a hole in your “you cheated on me” tirade or it can be overthought without being too silly. For example, it’s always possible (unlikely, but possible) that the woman is misinterpreting things and it could look highly suspicious when it isn’t. This isn’t helped when her “friend” keep pushing her to believe it because of whatever issues her friend has. But I’m not talking about that because the singer’s character has “word of God” on her side for the sake of the song. How far that goes is possibly up to interpretation. Take Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”. Based on the song we have to accept that the girl her love interest is with is the wrong woman for him, but it’s up to interpretation that Taylor’s character is just because he and she have so much in common. It varies and depends on what you think of the singer and what she sings, because we often forget that when you sing a song you’re playing a character just as much as any fictional performance in other media.
What does this have to do with Megan Trainor and “Your Lips Are Movin”? Well, in addition to the title being a letter short, she leaves that hole by making a minor mistake. She gave evidence. Let me play a lyrics video and I’ll explain after to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Had she not given evidence, like Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”, it would have been fine. But “I smell her on your collar” is the only evidence we got, and it’s so circumstantial it wouldn’t hold up in court. “But her lipstick’s on your collar” would have been better evidence. He could have easily been hugged by a woman who wears a lot or strong perfume for whatever reason, which would have left the perfume on his collar. (I’m assuming it’s perfume anyway. If it was her body scent it’s only slightly harder to wave off, but wouldn’t he have had shirt off as well before her scent could get on there? And please remember BW Media Spotlight is a PG site whenever possible when you discuss this, please. Thank you.) Or don’t give any evidence and Word Of God would have no challenge with any of the other lyrics.
It’s a minor detail and I still groove to it. She’s a great performer. One thing this does have over “Before He Cheats” is that Trainor is one of the writers of the song, along with Kevin Kadish. If I had any real complaint with the song as a critic (besides being silly) it’s the use of “bass” in this song. I assumed “bass” in “All About That Bass” had something to do with being plus size. Here it’s a replacement for either “love” or “sex”. Or maybe I wasn’t wrong about her obsession with Bass from Mega Man? I’m confused as to how she uses the word in her songs now.