Think I'm In Love
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Alternate Titles:

a.k.a. Kinda Nervous (To Say So)

Versions:
  1. Think I'm In Love
    Available on The Information and 3 other releases.
    Credits
    David Campbell: Arrangement (Strings)
    Jason Falkner: Bass
    Nigel Godrich: Producer
    Beck Hansen: Vocals, Vocals (Background)
 
Lyrics:
Think I'm In Love [Version (a)]:

I really think I better get a hold of myself
Don't wanna let the night get ahead of myself
Whisperin' hello through a smoke ring smile
She doesn't know what happens when she's around

I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so
I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so

Doodododododooodoo

Probably lay my head on a wooden floor
Tell her I was tired from working the store
Counting all the cash from an old shoebox
Saving up to buy her something she wants

I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so
I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so

What if it's wrong?
What if it's wrong
To pray in vain?
What does it mean
To fake your death
And wake up tainted?

Take a little picture in a photobooth
Keep it in a locket and I think of you
Both of our pictures, face to face
Take off your necklace and throw it away

I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so
I think I'm in love
But it makes me kinda nervous to say so

Really think I better get a hold of myself
Don't wanna let the night get ahead of myself
Whisperin' hello through a smoke ring smile
She doesn't know what happens when she's around

I think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
Think I'm in love
 
The Song:

"Think I'm In Love" is a song on Beck's album, The Information. Beck said he "couldn't figure out how to rap over" this track, so he "just wrote a little song" instead. Perhaps you can hear a bit of what he was thinking rap-wise in the "doo doo doo" vocal part, but he made a good choice--the melody he wrote is fantastic.

I've read a few reviews of The Information expressing surprise how straight-forward Beck is on this song. But is he really? Is this a pure love song? Or is there something sadder going on underneath? I think either interpretation can work: it can be both about those early feelings of love, or perhaps an unrequited, almost obsessive, love.

I'll start with looking at it as a real love song. The situations in this song can be considered quite romantic, as he struggles to describe his feelings for her, saves up to buy her something she wants, and he keeps her picture close. He's nervous about what could happen with her, and slightly worried too ("what if it's wrong?").

However, as said, it may not be quite that pure a love. The first verse has him nervous: he's hearing her, but it could be veiled ("smoke ring smile"). Does she even know him? Seems not, or at least, she has no idea how he feels. ("She doesn't know what happens when she's around.") The second verse seems to have him laying on the floor, pining away for her, planning what he would do if she were his ("buy her something she wants"). The bridge has him playing with the idea that his feelings are in vain, and perhaps he's tainted. He turns almost obsessive in the last verse.

Either way, though, this is a sharper song than it may appear. I do not see how it was not a huge hit tune, as it is immediately inviting in the music. It's a groovy tune, steady but still warm. To that end, Beck once said it fell "somewhere between Brigitte Bardot and krautrock."
 
Live:

Played live 208 times:
Earliest known live version: October 27, 2005
Latest known live version: October 18, 2017

2005-2012: sorry haven't written about these yet, but Beck did play it a lot. consider this a placeholder paragraph.

2013-2016 "I Feel Love" version:
In 2013, and then through almost all of 2014 (at 51 out of 57 shows), Beck performed "Think I'm In Love." It was one of the most frequent songs, especially as one that was not a "hit" single or anything. On record, the song contains a fourth verse at the end (which is just the first verse repeated), which sneaks into the song before the outro. Live, they skip that repeated verse, go straight to the outro, which would then be extended into a jam on the chorus from Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." So good! What a great combination.

(Beck would continue to add "I Feel Love" to "Think" after the Morning Phase tour in 2015 and 2016 too. There are few times that they didn't go into "Feel," but mostly the two songs have been connected.)

 
Notes:
Initially, we were not aware of what this song's title was so we referred to it as "Kinda Nervous (To Say So)." A photo of the setlist from Beck show on June 14, 2006 referred to a song called "Think I'm In Love," so it seems a very safe bet that it is the same song as what we called were unofficially calling "Kinda Nervous." Thanks to Amy (AppleDonuts) for the lyrics help!