When you see David Blaine stick an ice pick through his own hand without leaving a mark, the sight can unlock a door in your brain: Is this real? It looks real. If this is real, what is reality? It’s a freeing feeling, as if the world has been made anew right in front of your eyes; by witnessing something senseless, other things begin to make sense. Admittedly, talking about this newfound awareness can make you sound like a rube or an acid casualty, but its power should not be totally denied. Frankie Cosmos’ Greta Kline knows what it’s like to have your mind rearranged by a magic trick. She wrote a song about it.
“On the Lips” finds Kline believing in something as illogical as a David Blaine stunt: love. “Why would I kiss ya?/ If I could kiss ya?” she wonders, questioning the existential purpose of touching lips. As usual, the songwriter instinctually deflates her big ideas, sounding both over it and into it all at once. A grand lyric like “sometimes I cry cause I know I’ll never have all the answers” is not played to dramatic effect with strings and swells. It is stated plainly, accompanied by simple strums and the faintest hint of heavenly synth, and followed by a line about the modest woe of New York City subway transfers. For Kline, the prospect of an underground kiss and the mysteries of the universe belong in the same breath. As they should.
Read more at: pitchfork.com