Pop music has made an epic comeback after being out of the spotlight for the past few weeks. ZAYN, Zara Larsson and Jon Bellion all delivered some fresh, new tracks. Not only are they fresh, but they are all songs that are very relatable in terms of relationships and friendships.
“Fingers” is the latest track off of former One Direction member ZAYN’s second studio album, which does not yet have a official release date. The track was announced on ZAYN’s Twitter on Wednesday, Oct. 17, the night before its official release. The tweet simply read, “8 am EST.”
“Fingers” is about the pop singer falling in love with someone at first sight and instantly getting hooked on their love. “Looked and I loved ya,” the singer confesses to whomever the song may be about. Throughout the song, ZAYN acknowledges the fact that his on-and-off ex (Gigi Hadid, presumably), may have already moved on from him, but lets her know that he is always available if she ever needs some company.
My first listen of the track left me very surprised. “Fingers” is very different from ZAYN’s previous work. Tracks like “PILLOWTALK” and “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” are more upbeat, and have a rougher edge to them. “Fingers,” on the other hand, is definitely more mellow and laid-back in terms of its instrumentals, along with ZAYN’s vocals. Some might consider this track to be “boring” or “lazy,” but in reality, it is a quality-produced song that was carefully thought-out based on its message and the story it tells.
The only downer of the song is the chorus. It is already short enough, having only seven lines. Unfortunately, ZAYN wasted four out of those seven lines repeating the phrase: “I could come and love (I could come and love ya).” Although it gets his point across that he is always available as a shoulder to cry on, it is very repetitive, and causes you to zone out for those 12 seconds of the chorus. Not to mention the chorus is repeated three times throughout the song, which isn’t even three minutes long.
Besides that, “Fingers” is otherwise a very good song. I really enjoy the emotion ZAYN put into the lyrics, as well as his consistent honesty throughout the track, such as the line: “Stuck, now I need ya.” Over the course of the song, the singer is completely honest with himself, realizing that he is constantly craving this mystery person. I definitely recommend this song for anyone who is struggling to get over a certain someone in their life or even anyone who has a crush.
Despite the fact that the song is relatable and honest, “Fingers,” unfortunately, will not grow to be a hit on the airwaves, simply because it isn’t radio-friendly. These days, radio stations are looking to play songs that are upbeat and have that “roll the windows down and sing-along” type of vibe, which is something this track doesn’t have. That being said, the song does have potential when it comes to streams. ZAYN is popular worldwide, especially in countries like the United Kingdom, where streaming is huge and makes up for a good chunk of his success. If the song is enjoyed by fans worldwide, it has a chance at doing very well on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
“Fingers” debuted at No. 20 on the iTunes Worldwide chart and No. 151 on the Spotify Global Top 200 chart. Play or Nay: Play
“Ruin My Life” is the official lead single from “Never Forget You” singer Zara Larsson’s third upcoming studio album. The song was debuted for the first time during a private show on Sept. 11 in New York City. Exactly one month later, Larsson took to Twitter to announce the release of “Ruin My Life,” which ultimately came out on Oct. 18.
Although Larsson is rumored to be in a current relationship with Brian Whittaker, “Ruin My Life” is about the breakup of a toxic relationship or friendship that Larsson can’t help but want back, no matter how much it tore her apart. Larsson is all for being honest on this track by opening with the line, “I miss you pushing me close to the edge, I miss you.” She later sings that despite the fact that the relationship would once again ruin her life, she can’t help but miss it.
From the moment I pressed play, I was very impressed with this track. The opening instrumental is on the more mellow, slow side, but creates a vibe that makes the listener fully aware that this is about to be an honest, yet upbeat love song. “Ruin My Life” is one of those feel-good songs that makes you want to throw your hands up and scream the lyrics at the top of your lungs. It has a fun beat, while the lyrics are honest and relatable. Not to mention, the track can fit the situation of not only a toxic relationship, but a toxic friendship, too. Applying the situation in both ways, Larsson sings “I wish you, I wish you would come back to me. Come back to me, come back to me.” Larsson created a track where the lyrics can go either way: a romantic relationship where the person may have screwed you over a billion times and you still want them back, or a friendship you miss, despite the fact that the friend was a complete backstabber. Anyone looking for a relatable yet still fun song should definitely check this out.
Deservingly, “Ruin My Life” will definitely grow to be an instant hit. Earlier this week, Larsson revealed on Twitter that the song’s music video will be released next week. This is a smart move, in terms of giving the song its full potential to becoming a hit. The sooner the promotion for a song begins, the better chance it has to do well. Not to mention, the track is also extremely radio-friendly. It has the perfect pop vibe, and a catchy chorus, making it fully capable of being a smash on Top 40 radio. That being said, Larsson is still an up-and-coming artist, so her sales numbers will definitely not be as high as her streams. Newer artists tend to perform better statistically in streams because the general public typically doesn’t purchase an artist’s music until they have gotten a good feel for what their music is like as a whole. If the general public likes what they’re hearing, they tend to go and buy it on services like iTunes or Amazon Music. Until then, though, they usually listen through streaming services like YouTube or Spotify.
“Ruin My Life” debuted at No. 73 on the iTunes Worldwide chart and No. 48 on the Spotify Global Top 200 chart. Play or Nay: Play
“Conversations With My Wife” is the lead single off of singer Jon Bellion’s sophomore album, “Glory Sound Prep.” The track was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 27, when Bellion shared a snippet of the track on Twitter, along with the word “Friday.” “Conversations With My Wife” was officially released on Oct. 19.
The song is about Bellion questioning his wife’s commitment to him beyond their social media lives and the success they both see. The singer wants their relationship to be real and true in real life, not just in the music industry for the world to see. Bellion has always kept his love life private, until release week, where he responded to a fan on Twitter saying they “solved the mystery” after figuring out the singer has been married since the beginning of the year. Who his wife is, exactly, is still unknown. Bellion proves his own commitment to his wife by singing, “Who the f— cares about these plaques on my wall? You’re still the only thing I’ve done right.” In a nutshell, Bellion wants their relationship to go far beyond the money and the fame.
Bellion hasn’t released a new single in two years, but he definitely still knows what he’s doing when it comes to music. Sounding similar to his 2016 track “Woke the F— Up,” “Conversations With My Wife” has that creepy and mysterious vibe to it. Both tracks contain a heavily autotuned substance that supports Bellion in the background throughout the track. The voice, whose identity is unknown, gives the song a suspicious and near-scary sound by using what sounds like a heavily autotuned children’s choir repeating the lines “They’ll say that I fell off, and it’s alright. I’m so ready to run from the spotlight (from the spotlight).” This section of the song, known as the bridge, makes the track even more unique and entertaining to listen to. You never really know what’s coming next in songs like these, which is what makes them so different than any other song. Artists that take risks with their music always tend to stand out to me, and make me enjoy their music 10 times more.
Although the song is a bit slow for my enjoyment, it has a great, motivational message in it. It teaches you to support and stick with your partner and or friends unconditionally, no matter how tough times may get. Bellion expresses this message efficiently by singing, “I dreamt I slept on a sidewalk, but you still laid with me. I dreamt I fell in a lion’s den, and you still came for me.” Although the singer reached some pretty low points in his life, he expresses that this person was still there for him, regardless of how rough times got. I’m all for unconditional love and supporting my peers, so this is definitely a song that motivates me to stick to that ideology.
In regards to this song becoming a hit, I’m honestly not sure how this song will perform. Bellion’s part of the song is very ecstatic, but it’s that random auto-tuned voice that might ruin its potential of becoming a hit. Admittedly, the voice makes the track unique, but it takes up too much of the song. It was definitely included as a filler effect just to make the song seem longer. That being said, the general public might just happen to enjoy the song from start to finish, resulting in them purchasing and streaming the track. It is undoubtedly a radio friendly track, but it will take time for it to grow on Top 40 radio. That is, if it even receives the proper promotion from Bellion and his team. Time will tell in terms of the songs success.
“Conversations With My Wife” is yet to debut on both the iTunes Worldwide chart and the Spotify Global Top 200 chart. Play or Nay: Play
Overall, a great week for new music! Not only did these three artists make a strong comeback with their music, they sung about real life situations that are very relatable to a wide variety of people. Whether you’re struggling to get over a romantic relationship or just a friendship, these songs might have what it takes to help you get over that one person.
I’m Dylan Jahnke, and this is my second year with 42Fifty, which I first joined as a staff member. I am a senior at Oswego High School, and I plan to study mass communications/music management in college. I hope to one day have my own radio talk show or get into artist management. If I’m not writing or editing for 42Fifty, I’m either working at Culver’s, hanging out with friends and family, or doing homework. I am humbled to say I began my 42Fifty career my junior year as a staff writer, then Arts & Entertainment editor first semester of my senior year and now Editor-in-Chief.