“Always The Last To Know” by Del Amitri (1992)

Someone, please give Justin Currie his propers as an “A” class lyricist. Nearly thirty years after making his debut as the lead singer of Scottish rock band Del Amitri, Currie continues to bring the goods (seriously, his most recent solo album, this spring’s This Is My Kingdom Now, is quite solid.)

“Always The Last To Know” is, as Jay-Z would say, a real song. Justin waxes wistful over a relationship. His partner has run into the arms of another man, and our hero wonders how she’s doing with the new guy. Says that he’s the last to know what she’s up to and how she’s feeling. Typical love song territory, until the song’s bridge, in which Justin delivers a curveball: he cheated on this particular lady, and she was the last to know. I have a soft spot for songs in which the protagonist admits he was a dick (which Currie does a lot).

I also have a soft spot for the fact that Del Amitri (and Currie’s solo) songs are so well-crafted and pop-smart, but still sound like they were recorded by the band of working stiffs that plays at your local bar. There’s an “average Joe” type of appeal that makes the heart-on-sleeve lyrics even more relatable.

Beginning to end, one of my favorite lyrics of all time.

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