The first track off Harvey’s brilliant debut LP from 1992 “Dry,” “Oh My Lover” is the least sexy and most depressing “open” relationship song ever recorded. There’s nothing “liberating” here. It’s the anguished cry of a person who’s so desperate to hang on to the person they’re with, they’re willing to do something that breaks their heart to have some remnant of connection with that person.
I don’t think Harvey is passing judgment here and I don’t think she’s advocating the position of the protagonist of this song. It’s just the painful portrait of someone whose only sense of self is tied up inextricably with someone who is all but willing to exploit the protagonist’s weakness. Devastating stuff.