Because “Snapchat Me Maybe” didn’t really roll off the tongue that well…
Anthony Easton: The chorus is anonymous, but the drum break is pretty great, and some of the digital updating of the usual pining are fantastic. But, why doesn’t she ask him?
Iain Mew: Does the CBC take as dim a view as the European Broadcasting Union of mentioning the names of tech companies? I can’t think of another reason why the social network theme of “More than Friends” should be so half-arsed.
Alfred Soto: She clicks through our memories, alright: Kool & the Gang rhythm licks, Britney syllables, and, oh, “Call Me Maybe.”
Juana Giaimo: I consider myself really bad at pointing out similarities in between songs, so please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks the chorus is basically a crappy copy of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.
David Sheffieck: I don’t mind the Carly Rae-biting production and hook, if only because a little late-90s callback like this is still an outlier on the radio. But the lyric really lets this down: “I’ll be the top hit up on your timeline” seems embarrassing now, and I can’t imagine a future where it doesn’t sound like MySpace shout-outs do now. More than that, though, it lacks the emotional stakes and release that Carly nails — where “Call Me Maybe” is about her taking a chance, “More Than Friends” is about Duffield “on the sidelines,” waiting for someone else to make the first move. And while that’s relatable enough, it’s also not easy to invest in.
Brad Shoup: Hews ridiculously close to the “Call Me Maybe” model, with a little bit of disco, or perhaps a lot of “A Public Affair”. And everyone knows it, and it’s all OK.
Katherine St Asaph: Doesn’t quite emulate certain pop hits so much as add them to its friends list: ingenue voice and spiny tinsel production of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Hurt So Good” or “This Kiss” (thought I was gonna say that one, huh? WRONG), buttrock riff from “Teenage Dream,” galvanizing-but-gruff chorus shout, like if you got a room full of middle managers to do the Lumineers “HO!”, a few bum lines (you don’t “fit together like a puzzle piece,” unless maybe the dog’s been chewing them), worse mixing, and a social-media metaphor — a crush so strong you wanna tell the whole NSA? — that’s neither gimmicky nor subtle enough.
Andy Hutchins: Remember Esmée Denters? (Remember Tennman?) She would never have been caught dead singing words on a lyric sheet cribbed from a word cloud of Mashable posts circa 2010. And she came up on YouTube!
Patrick St. Michel: It’s only natural that more and more things I come across make me feel old… or, more accurately, definitely out of loop with the generation before me. My first reaction to “More Than Friends” was “a pop song about Facebook? What a crazy idea!” But then came the slow realization… this is probably business-as-usual material for the kids this song is actually aimed at. “More Than Friends” makes that pre-birthday dread all the more powerful.
Scott Mildenhall: So she wants to make it “Facebook Official”? Maybe in 20 years this won’t sound so clumsily contrived — maybe it doesn’t to everybody. But songs about the internet never sound native, because they’re about it, suggesting the time hasn’t yet come for it to be taken as a given. 1998′s “I sent a message through the internet but it rejected” sounds quaint now, but this is somehow more tin-eared. It does hint at an exploration of legitimised stalking, but it’s too wide-eyed to even see it that way. As well as slightly weird, perhaps that does make it native.
Megan Harrington: Are we at the right spot in the “Ho Hey” life cycle for me to admit that I just love vocal punctuation? Victoria Duffield sings “I can’t lie! I wanna be more than friends” such that the exclamation point is voiced as a group shouted “HUNH.” Maybe it’s too soon, but of all the little details cobbled together here from pop’s recent past (some shiny nu-disco, a bit of synthesized whoosh), my favorite is the faux-folk yelp.
Will Adams: So, yes, the verse lyrics are embarrassing — a run-through of social media terminology handled with the grace of a 40-year-old writing a thinkpiece on millenials (though the line of “clicking through your memories” is a wonderful encapsulation of how Facebook catalogs our lives). Bu-bu-but: the chorus is indelible. The synths whir like the best moments of Kiss, the bass slaps like early Britney, and the conceit of wanting to take that fateful leap toward something more is as classic as it gets. “More Than Friends” desires a more skilled vocalist, but for now, I’m smitten.