"Couple billion in the whole wide world, find another one cause she belongs to me."
One Direction's first official single to their fourth album FOUR has leaked, allegedly just a few minutes after Liam Payne tweeted that he couldn’t sleep, fans have hypothesized as they wish.
Penned by the same master crew that brought us a good portion of the jams from Midnight Memories. “Steal My Girl” is another rousing stadium filler from the boys, and takes all the new elements that have expanded their audience from the previous era and pushes it even further. The intro opens up with a building 80’s piano riff not unlike “Best Song Ever” and the beat keeps getting bigger. The entire production together makes for somewhat of a vibey feel, similar the first taste we’ve gotten of the new era, “Fireproof,” but in a bigger way.
The chorus is completely massive. It’s everything you’ve loved from every one of their past sing-along hooks, minus the need to make sure no one’s around you as you’re fist pumping the air. You can already imagine the sense of camaraderie you’d feel at a 1D concert when you have the whole crowd singing the “na na na” bridge with you. Niall Horan's bridge? Ecstasy.
Also the ever beautiful Zayn Malik has a high note, but I’ll let the Directioners take it away on that one.
"Then it hit me like a lightning late one night"
I confess while I’m not the biggest country fan, the genre will always have a special place in my heart. Mainly because I didn’t know how radio’s worked as a child and the preset station was a country station. I half-grew up on the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and most of all: Carrie Underwood.
In fact, I’d pin down Carrie as the only songstress that has made me cry (go listen to “So Small,” “Just a Dream,” or “Temporary Home,” I shit you not). ”Something in the Water” is a single off of Greatest Hits: Decade #1, her first compilation album, commemorating an monumental first decade in the industry and a great start to another.
The song itself is deceptively standard and it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but country music relies less on groundbreaking melodies and earth-shattering production, and more on the heart and soul of things, and this Oklahoman chanteuse has a lot of it.
That pre-chorus where everything stops and it’s nothing but Carrie’s sweet voice cooing? “And now I’m chaaaanged, and now I’m strrOOONGER.” This is the part when you know it’s a good song. It leads into the chorus. It’s seven words long and it’s simple but it resonates through and shines. Christian or not, the soaring vocals coupled with a thundering production is exactly the standing-on-the-mountaintop song you needed on those dark and stormy times (or just any Monday).
The best part though? The final chorus. It’s background enough that I mistook it for some great background vocals on the first listen, but that chorus singing along to “Amazing Grace,” and it is in fact the moment when you couldn’t help to feel tears welling up in your face. And it’s this moment when you know it’s a Carrie Underwood song.
It’s difficult to not hear ‘Don’t Touch Me’ as a response to Ailee’s personal life. Her privacy was violated last year when nude photos of the singer surfaced online and were brought into the mainstream by the American Korean news site allkpop. At the time of the incident, Ailee had recently broken up with her boyfriend, who happened to work for allkpop and was reported to be trying to sell the photos to another outlet, leading people to presume that he leaked the photos. Nothing in ‘Don’t Touch Me’ references the incident directly, but especially with the more recent mass leaking of nude celebrities photos, the song takes on a very powerful subtext about personal space, consent, and female agency.