In VH New Music Fridays, the Life staff covers this week’s new music releases, from pop to country to alternative.
“Let’s Be Friends,” Carly Rae Jepsen
Fans of the Canadian artist rejoiced last week when Carly released this energetic, sarcastic single just in time for Valentine’s Day. But don’t be fooled—the latest installment in the fabled “Jepsen pattern” that runs through most of her music isn’t about giving in to the emotional thrill of love, which one might expect from a song very similar in vibe to her 2019 album “Dedicated.” With a lot of the same spunky musical stylings as hits like “Julien” and “Everything He Needs,” “Let’s Be Friends” is instead a hopeful and bouncy breakup jam in which Carly knows she’ll be happier after being dealt the infamous line, “Let’s just be friends.” It’s a witty take on the anti-Valentine’s Day stance, one that shows us it’s okay to find pleasure in the act of cutting a relationship short, and the adorably designed lyric video, in which a comic strip version of Carly humorously suffers through numerous bad dates, makes this new single that much more enjoyable and relatable.
“Hopeless Romantic,” Tink
Despite this release’s optimistic song title, “Hopeless Romantic” is a romantic, R&B style anthem that emphasizes Tink’s experience being constantly disappointed by the men in her life. Her lyrics reflect her search for “someone that can comfort” her, but Tink blames herself for wearing “her heart on her sleeve.” Personally, I think R&B is the musical genre that best matches the vibes of Valentine’s Day, whether you’re wifed-up or single, so check out this release as well as the rest of the “Hopeless Romantic” album to get in the mood today.
“That’s What Love Is,” Justin Bieber
I’ll be the first to say that Justin Bieber’s new “Changes” album isn’t the best display of his talent. Songs like “Yummy” throw it into the dust, but just because our beloved Justin can be a little cheesy doesn’t take away from the fact that he has proven his voice time and time again since his rise to stardom. “That’s What Love Is” is more ballad-like than most of his upbeat hits, but I think that’s where his lyricism and music talent really shine. With touching lyrics and melodic undertones, this song is equally as perfect for singles as it is for honeymooning couples this Valentine’s Day.
“Because of You,” Kodak Black
Kodak Black’s latest release is a little bit less intense than most of his hits, which usually host upbeat lyrics that hype up his professional life of partying and chicks. This single reflects the vibe of Lil Peep’s “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2,” as soothing, mournful instrumentals are paired with rap-style lyricism. This track is where we see a bit of Kodak’s mushy side, a significant upgrade from the Valentine’s Day album he released in 2018, “Heart Break Kodak,” which was objectively bad. Does this Florida rapper have a secret special someone he’s singing about?
“Love You Like I Used To,” Russell Dickerson
When artists begin their track record of number one hits (see “Yours” and “Every Little Thing”), there can be a lot of pressure to continue to keep up with their audience. But for Dickerson, it seems like he still feels he’s on the up-and-up, citing his latest release as his “favorite” song ever. He’s effortlessly combined country charm with relatable lyrics that recount the fizzling of love in a relationship. If you’re feeling a little lonely this holiday or are getting over an ex, this emotional ballad is the perfect listen for hashing out your feelings.