The singer tells a girl needing encouragement that someday she will “Shine,” and looks forward to “One Fine Day” of redemption for hurting people. “What You’re Missing” invites outcasts to lend an ear and feel part of the band’s “extended family.” A person whose “only delight is others’ demise” gets reamed on “Bring Us Down.”
A nonsensical song finds a man interested in a pot-smoking mermaid (“Brides of Neptune”). Closer to reality are references to marijuana and Tanqueray on “Strange.” On that track, a guy visits a bar frequented by a gregarious homosexual known as “big, tall, gay Joey.” “Ms. Santa Cruz County” mentions transsexual bikers and urges listeners bored with life, “Let’s all be someone else . . . I know you’re tired of yourself.” There’s more gender-bending on the twisted “Superfan” (it’s unclear which, but either a stalker or his target has same-sex interests). An apparently unmarried couple shares a bed on “Shameless.” “Merry Christmas Emily,” the singer’s fond reminiscence of popping pills and getting drunk with a 23-year-old rebel, is further scarred by the f-word.
If fans only snacked on the CD’s fresh expressions of compassion and optimism, Forever would leave a good taste in their mouths. But Cracker crumbles by piling on mentions of drugs, alcohol, homosexuality and sexual obsession.