Kelly Hogan's We Can't Have Nice Things is this week's book soundtrack choice for Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. The song is about love gone awry. Two lovers can't sustain a loving relationship. The passion they once had has melted into a toxic acid that destroys everything it touches. Welcome to our humble home, we can't invite you in/Cause someone's gone and made a wreck of everything again. They keep their mess hidden behind closed doors. They suffer in silence.
In Gone Girl, Nick and Amy can barely tolerate each other. They've learned that the person they married five years ago is different from the person they wake up to every morning. They hurt each other. The acid is eating them alive, yet they're addicted to the toxicity. This is piqued by the lyric: A teardrop on each pillow here, a hole in every wall/Still I'd rather have these things than have nothing. They don't know how to live without each other. They don't know how to live without pain.
The tone of We Can't Have Nice Things compliments Gone Girl. The laid back -- almost nonchalant-- beat undermines the severity of the lyric, just as the logical and conventional narratives of Nick and Amy in the first third of Gone Girl hide the severity and truth of their relationship. Hogan adds a splash of 1960s girl group vocal flair that adds a whimsy element to the song which also helps to mask the pain of the song.