Single Review: Divine “Lately”

Album: Fairy Tales
Year: 1998

Nikki Bratcher, lead singer of Divine, mopes around her home and thinks about her ex-boyfriend in the slushy R&B of “Lately.”

Bratcher “oohs” over a heartsick acoustic guitar to start the single. The “oohs” then segue into the chorus. Bratcher has been remembering the good times she shared with her ex-boyfriend and his cute habits. She’s been watching him from afar to see what’s he’s been up to. (“Lately (I’ve been watching you) been thinkin ’bout you baby/(and everything you do)/just sittin’ away watching the days go by/just sittin’ away watching the days go by.”)

The breakup was unexpected and it threw her. It feels like she had the wind knocked out of her. She’s can’t cry but her mind is buzzing. She’s analyzing what she could’ve said for him to leave her. Normally, she’s a tough, strong girl who can handle any trouble which comes her away. But her ex wasn’t any guy she dated. He meant something to her. They broke up a few months ago in November, a day she can recall vividly. (“Have you ever felt a breeze hit your heart/like the wind was blowing it apart/as you’re spinning like a merry-go-round/indications of a storm touching down/wish that I could weather any storm/but I guess it was heartbreak from the norm/was a day I will always remember/the saddest day in sweet november.”)

After the chorus, the second verse starts. She’s pleading with God for some way to get him back. She’s sobbing in her room listening to the most depressing songs she can find in her collection. (“Baby i’m on my knees praying God help me please/bring my baby back, right back to me/if lovin’ you was right then I don’t wanna go wrong/so I drown myself with tears, sittin’ here, singin’ another sad love song.”)

In the bridge, Bratcher has been upset and glum. She wants to be together with her ex-boyfriend again and not alone. (“Lately I’ve been torn apart/I wish you hadn’t broke my heart/
I’m missin’ you babe/missin’ you everyday/Lately I’ve been torn apart/I wish you hadn’t broke my heart/I’m missin’ you babe/missin’ you everyday

The chorus is sung with only bass and drums to end the single.

Some one-hit wonder groups do not deserve their fate (Willa Ford, Stacey Q) However, Divine do not have a quality which differentiates themselves from the others.


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