Sometimes singers (Sam Smith, for example) seem to find it difficult to spill their emotions into a song without attempting to make the song bigger than what they’re feeling. The best ballads are almost always the simplest, the most powerful the weakest. You can say a million times more with a whimper or a muted gasp than you can by screaming into a microphone in an attempt to overwhelm your audience into accepting your pain. Gwen does this to perfection.
In a world where mega producers such as Dr. Luke dole out the same recycled beat to everyone they work with before doing the same thing with a different beat a year later, the most important thing in pop music is having a distinct voice. You don’t need to shout to be heard over the monotony, you just need to say something in a way that manages to cut right through it. In Used To Love You Gwen is real, she’s honest, and she’s powerful. She breaks down and shows her vulnerability, she shows a side of herself that perhaps hasn’t been showcased to the public at large before and she does it all without making it feel like there was any thought put into it, just emotion.
With the release of her brand new song Used to Love You and it’s accompanying music video, Gwen Stefani has created a moment that will hopefully bring her back into the highest echelon of pop stars. “I think I remember for the first time, since I hated you, that I Used To Love You” is the kind of lyric that resonates in people’s minds. It’s a simple statement, but one that regardless of whether you’ve been through a similar situation or not allows you to imagine and feel the emotions that come along with it.
The music video feels a little forced at first, she seems to react with her face and body movement to every single lyric, rather than feeling the emotion of the song as a whole, but, it works to her advantage. This is her story and she wants to convey it so that anyone listening hears her side, and nothing is misconstrued, making the song something that truely belongs to Gwen and can’t be taken away from her.
The result is a song that has a very clear voice and sends a very clear message. No bullshit, no over-the-top drama, just Gwen spilling her heart out over music in a way that demands to be heard and taken seriously.
Gwen Stefani is back, y’all.