Song of the Day #3,477: ‘Bad Liar’ – Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez taps into the acting chops she honed during her years on Wizards of Waverly Place for her ‘Bad Liar’ video.

Gomez plays four roles here, including a high school student, the girl’s mother and father, and a female gym teacher. This thing has a plot worthy of a telenovela: the girl has a crush on the gym teacher, with whom her father is having an affair seemingly with her mother’s knowledge.

I somehow missed this song in 2017 but I really like it. It cribs the opening notes of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ and Gomez does her thin whispery vocal thing very effectively on meandering verses and a slyly sexy chorus.

[Verse 1]
I was walking down the street the other day
Tryna distract myself
But then I see your face
Oh wait, that’s someone else
Tryna play it coy
Tryna make it disappear
But just like the battle of Troy
There’s nothing subtle here
In my room there’s a king size space
Bigger than it used to be
If you want you can rent that place
Call me an amenity
Even if it’s in my dreams

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh you’re taking up a fraction of my mind
Ooooh every time I watch you serpentine

[Chorus]
Oh I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Oh I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no

[Post-Chorus]
With my feelings on fire
Guess I’m a bad liar

[Verse 2]
I see how your attention builds
It’s like looking in a mirror
Your touch like a happy pill
But still all we do is fear
What could possibly happen next?
Can we focus on the love?
Paint my kiss across your chest
If you’re the art, I’ll be the brush

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh you’re taking up a fraction of my mind
Ooooh every time I watch you serpentine

[Chorus]
Oh I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Oh I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no

[Post-Chorus]
With my feelings on fire
Guess I’m a bad liar

[Bridge]
And oh baby let’s make reality, actuality, a reality
Oh baby let’s make reality, actuality, a reality

[Chorus]
Oh, oh, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Not to think about you
No, no, no, no
Oh I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Oh tryin’, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no
Not to give in to you
No, no, no, no

[Post-Chorus]
With my feelings on fire
Guess I’m a bad liar

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,477: ‘Bad Liar’ – Selena Gomez

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I had not heard this song or seen the video before. I think Gomez is a talent though and I generally like what I hear.

    Your description of the video reminded me of a modern day twist on that old stereotyping joke with the punchline about the doctor being a woman, as I assumed that the teacher was going to be a man and that the husband was having a gay relationship with the teacher with the wife’s knowledge. Of course, the plot is provocative either way.

    • Amy says:

      I had the same thought when I read, which shows both how far we’ve come (that we had no problem anticipating a gay extramarital romance) and how little progress we’ve made (why would we only imagine a gym teacher as a man!)

      • Amy says:

        or maybe it was just more difficult for us to imagine the young Selena having a crush on a woman teacher…

      • Clay says:

        The funny thing is, I expressly referred to her as a “female gym teacher” in the post, assuming people might make that assumption.

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