On “Through With You” the singer makes a distinction between simply saying ‘I love you’ and meaning it. He’s devoted to affirming the “girl with the broken smile,” a troubled young woman caught in a pattern of poor choices (“She Will Be Loved”). Elsewhere he regrets unfaithfulness (“Tangled”) and relies on positive memories to squelch painful ones (“The Sun”).
While not explicit, “Must Get Out,” “Sunday Morning,” “Through With You,” “Shiver,” and “The Sun” mention physical intimacy. Things get a bit more graphic on “This Love” and “Sweetest Goodbye” (“Pushing forward and arching back/Bring me closer to a heart attack”). The disc fails to create a marital context for sex and, in some cases, places it in a casual or dysfunctional atmosphere. The worst of the lot, “Secret,” describes a heated sexual encounter between people who’ve just met. “Harder to Breathe” finds a man enraged by his lover’s criticism to the point of threatening her with violence.
These five guys combine guitars, aggressive rock beats and old-school, Michael Jackson-style harmonies. But Songs About Jane’s unique sound is garroted by a thin string of morally ambiguous sexuality.