I haven't listened to 'Say something' in a very long time. When I first heard 'You can't have it both ways', I thought the songs were a little similar in that they are both about a relationship at a major turning point. While they both express deep love and longing, 'Say something' sounds like an ending ('You're the one that I love / and I'm saying goodbye'), and 'You can't have it both ways' sounds like a beginning ('You can be safe / you can feel wanted', 'Follow your heart'). They're both beautiful songs, and it's interesting that they were (probably) performed together in one gig, but I much prefer Tini's song for its insight, honesty and encouragement.
If you compare the lyrics to the songs, they are both an offer of love, but 'Say something' is all from the perspective of the singer - it's all about their longing, their apology, their sense of loneliness, their pride, and their insecurity. There is nothing here that tells us how the subject is feeling. Obviously it's deliberate because it sets the tone of the song that the love is very one-sided; but although it's heartbreaking to hear, part of me thinks: If you're so focused on your own hurt and your own disappointment, seemingly without much thought about what the other person is going through, how can you claim to 'be the one' for them? It's clear devotion but it's lacking any insight about the other person, there's no empathy or understanding. 'You can't have it both ways' is the complete opposite - yes, some sadness and hurt underlie it, but it comes from a place of selfless giving, not focusing on the singer's pain. In every line, she shows that she can see into his heart, and without anger or judgement, she offers him the love he needs. We don't know why the subject of either song has so far resisted love, but in 'You can't have it both ways' you get some real clues and you can see that the love is definitely not one-sided.
I have no idea what kind of situation could have inspired 'Say something', how so much love could have built up on one side and not be returned, but I can somehow imagine the kind of situation that might inspire a song like 'You can't have it both ways'. Maybe that is why to me it seems hopeful; the example in my other blog notwithstanding, you generally don't gain that kind of knowledge about another person's needs and insecurities unless that person has chosen to show them to you. And if they have shown you that much, they must care for you and trust you. All you can do is declare your love, reach out your hand, and have faith that it will work out if it is meant to be.
On another note: I don't really think 'All we ever had' is about a friendship, but I shared this theory because I do think it's typical of Magne's writing that you can often get several different meanings from it. For a listener like me who thinks too much, this is both good and bad ;-) Sometimes simplicity and clarity are the best way to go if you have something important to say. Songs like 'Ignited', 'If he's the one' and 'Everybody's angel', which he wrote for Martin Halla's album, have a special beauty because of these qualities.
I'll end by quoting a friend, who has just heard the Beatles movie soundtrack: 'I want a new Magne F solo album even more [now]!' As much as I enjoy writing about the songs Magne has contributed to other people's albums, it has been a long time since we had a complete album of his to dive into and explore. And I really miss his voice! :-)