Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Entertainment

AN ANALYSIS OF “RECKLESS DRIVING” BY LIZZY MCALPINE

Everyone knows a reckless driver—and that reckless driver might be you. But Lizzy McAlpine and Ben Kessler’s latest single, “Reckless Driving,” creates the simple analogy that loving someone with or without caution is just like driving on the road. The song narrates a scene from two perspectives: one who’s a careful driver (Lizzy) and another who’s a reckless one (Ben). The first verse of the song starts promptly, without hesitation:

I didn’t mean to kiss you

I mean I did, but I didn’t think it’d go this far

I didn’t mean to kiss you

Now you can’t focus on the road when I’m in your car

The immediate start to this song indicates how quickly the relationship is moving. This is further emphasized by how Lizzy reflects on their kiss, believing that it shouldn’t have moved the relationship as far as it did. The part about focusing on the road portrays someone whose entire attention is on their significant other. Their goals and future all involve their partner, acting like they’re unconditionally in love. However, the tone of this verse indicates that there’s not enough emphasis on their own future because they are too focused on a singularity in their life.

Now we’re going one hundred

Your hands aren’t on the wheel

‘Cause you’re just staring at me like you’re not convinced that I am real

And now we’re at one-eighty

And I can finally see

But then it’s over in a second

Crashed the car into the tree

Yeah, I can see it all happen

You’d rather die than take your eyes off me

As the relationship begins to speed up, the more ‘reckless’ the love becomes. Creating an endless feedback loop of reckless driving. Not until the peak of the relationship does the careful driver realize that they’re going too quickly, but by the time they do realize, it’s already too late. A fast-moving relationship is not always harmful, but in this case, the two in the relationship are not on the same page—and that is where it begins to crumble. In a relationship that moves too quickly, there is not enough time for either party to figure out their feelings: what do I like about them, and do I want to pursue something with them? I think that a big part of this song is how obliviously in love the second perspective of the song is. It starts off with Ben singing:

I don’t know how to tell you

That I feel safe when you sit shotgun

Never felt this way with no one

And I lie when I tell ya

I know exactly where we’re going

I get lost just for this moment

When he states in the first line that he doesn’t know how to tell her, this is a prime example of how hard it is to capture his own feelings. He’s so hopelessly in love, that he doesn’t realize his partner’s concern that they’re moving too fast. The bridge separates into the two perspectives, starting off with Ben’s:

‘Cause I love you like that

I’m a reckless driver

And you tell me all the time to keep my eyes on the road

Do you love me like that?

If I keep on driving

Would you hold me when we crash or would you let me go?

He’s constantly asking for affirmation that she’ll always be there for him, which isn’t necessarily negative in its connotations. Affirmation from your partner is normal and valid, but in the context of this song, there was no time for them to establish mutual interest in each other, leading him to be unsure of her feelings towards him–more so than if they did take things slow and establish boundaries and feelings.

Don’t wanna scrape you off the pavement

I can’t be your savior

I don’t wanna be here when you lose control

Don’t wanna watch it as it happens

See the crowd’s reaction

I don’t wanna be here when you kill us both

Lizzy’s verse in the bridge is very realistic and grounded compared to Ben’s, which is very idealistic. Not only are both partners not on the same page, but they seem to be two different types of people. Ben’s character relies heavily on his significant other, while Lizzy’s character seems independent and more emotionally mature. 

“Reckless Driving” is one of my favorite songs to date. Lizzy McAlpine has a way of entangling words with emotions and relating to the most realistic scenarios. If you are a person who enjoys digesting and interpreting the lyrics of songs, Lizzy McAlpine is the perfect artist. A few of her other songs that are my favorites include “Same Boat,” “I Knew,” “Means Something,” and “Let Light be Light.”

Her entire discography and aura create an atmosphere that is perfect if you’re going through a breakup, trying to get over someone, or just want to feel like the main character in a movie who is looking out of a window while it’s raining after you’ve had a tough day. Watching Lizzy grow as a songwriter has been a pleasure, and I hope to see her blossom and do great things in the future. Hopefully, one day I will be able to see her on the big stage.

Melody Lui

UC Berkeley '25

A freshman traversing the waves of the world and trying to make it her own. Leisurely walks around campus and experiencing concerts are the few things keeping her from departing across the world and starting a new life.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️