Nothing new - the same old break up song and Justin Bieber still singing about his wife.
I need to preface this with the fact that I have been supporting Justin Bieber since 2009, and am therefore biased. However, this just means that I usually dislike any song he has come out with since he married Hailey… however…
The songs’ lyrics seem to jump from past to present. Where Kehlani is singing about a past lover, evidenced by lyrics such as “end of our days”, and “I knew it would go this way”, Bieber is seemingly singing about a current lover (most likely his wife as he likes to make it blatantly obvious he does love her… he promises!) and it seems almost jarring. Why would Bieber choose to be on this song for just one verse, when Kehlani is evidently reflecting on the past – and Bieber isn’t (or is he?). However, we’re not here to look into the behavioural psychology of why Bieber does what he does.
In regards to the actual song, it sounds like any other pop song trying to make their ex see what they’re missing. It’s sultry and has a good beat, but I just don’t see it going anywhere except a fourteen-year-old’s Spotify playlist. Realistically, this song won’t be played anywhere other than a bar where you’d go for pre-drinks, and it definitely isn’t a TikTok hit – which is what most artists seem to be going for nowadays.
Kehlani has a great voice, and she’s good at the sultry thing, but the song isn’t unique. It’s definitely an overused concept; aren’t there enough songs about reflection that hit better? I think this is definitely one that should have been released with the album, rather than as a single – but maybe that’s just me.
On an unrelated note, it is nice to hear Bieber actually singing for once – what? I prefaced it with a warning that I’m biased; you chose to keep reading!
‘up at night’ is out now via TSNMI/Atlantic. Listen below: