Installment #1 of my new weekly series "That’s Not Music!": Jaded Dad Reviews Pop Songs
This week's song: “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez
Writers: Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, Robin Fredriksson, Mattias Larsson, Max Martin
Chart Position as I write this: #13 and climbing
Amount of Times I’ve Heard This Song (Estimated): One billion
Instrumentation/Structure: Pretty typical radio pop structure. Verse, Prechorus, Chorus. I like that the verses are kind of quiet and sparse and the chorus loud and groovy. Good contrast.
Unforgivable Lyric: “You’re me-ta-phor-i-cal gin and juice”
First, why does she pronounce it that way? It irritates me so. Second, why is your metaphor “gin and juice”? One lazy Snoop Dogg reference does not street cred grant. I guess “juice” sort of rhymes with “you” and “to”? Mostly I think the songwriters needed a certain amount of syllables, and words were kind of a second thought, which is pretty typical, I suppose.
Also, later in the song there are downers and uppers, and breathing stuff in, which would suggest inhalants or smoking marijuana. Pick a metaphor, man! Is this gin and juice OR pills OR huffing paint? Oh, it’s like substance use in general? The whole “our relationship is like a drug” idea has been done to death. Right off the top of my head I can think of: Huey Lewis (“I Want A New Drug”), Ke$ha (“Your Love Is My Drug”), Robert Palmer (“Addicted to Love”), The Weeknd (“Can't Feel My Face”), etc. etc. All better written than this.
My kids’ opinion: They don’t seem to care one way or another.
My opinion: The breathy little girl vocal delivery gives me the creeps, and the lyrics literally hurt me to listen to, but the melodies are strong. At the end of the day it’s pop music, not high art. I don’t change the station.
Other Notes: Who are all the Swedish people writing this song? Not that I have anything against Sweden. They seem to be, like, super-producers.
If you please, leave a comment and let me know what you think about "Hands to Myself" or my review.