Friday, August 9th, 2019

Ariana Grande & Social House – Boyfriend

In which we meet a band named after their WiFi network, just like The Police, VM3509527 and Shout Penis For Password…


Katie Gill: I’m certain that there’s plenty of conspiracy theories about how two of Ariana’s recent singles prominently position “boy/girlfriend” in the title, revolve around lusting after some boy who she isn’t dating, and feature lyrics pointing out how wrong the lusting is, lamenting the fact that he might date other girls, etc. I’m not going to spout off some conspiracy theories. All I’m going to say is that for a song that overwhelmingly reminded me structurally of “Break Up With Your Girlfriend,” this song has none of the interesting parts of that single.

Kayla Beardslee: I like this more than a lot of tracks off thank u, next, in large part because “Boyfriend” doesn’t have the unbearable hype of that album attached to it. But the production here, essentially “thank u, next” 2.0 with snappier drums and lusher harmonies, is also interesting enough — not disposable, at the least. The lyrics are inconsequential, except for “I’m a motherfuckin’ train wreck,” which maybe could come off as desperately sincere in a more introspective song, but in this case is just #relatable Instagram fodder. However, props to Scootie from Social House, who manages to make the lines “stress high when the trust low / bad vibes, where’d the fun go?” sound halfway suave. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Sexual tension as informed by the acknowledgement and announcement of a noncommittal relationship. It’s bolstered by these casual statements of insecurity and self-loathing (“I’m a motherfucking trainwreck,” “I’m a trainwreck too,” “I can’t be with you ’cause I’ve got issues”). These non-lovers presuppose the doomed nature of romantic pursuits in order to expedite and amplify this fling. The song goes down smooth, is pleasant throughout, and ends without leaving a huge impression: mission accomplished.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Listen, Ariana sounds great, but I can’t hear this as anything but a silly Nickelodeon-style “Love Me Harder” with a watered-down version of The Weeknd.

Alfred Soto: The scratchy vocal and the confused stance are purest Ariana Grande even when Social House offers banalities. Her music functions best without guests. 

Kylo Nocom: “Thank U, Next 2: The (Thank U,) Next Generation” is a sound concept by itself, and the guys of Social House are such remarkable complements to Ari that it happens to charm me more than anything on the actual album. A line like “I’m a motherfucking trainwreck” is a gut-punch coming from Ariana, and her tale of non-committal flings is meant to uplift yet comes off as extremely, extremely sad in a way I find fascinating. Mikey’s monotonous Khalid-like drawl endears, and Scootie’s more pleasantly buoyant range allows for him to slyly exchange conversation with Ari in the bridge. Together with the woozy “hey, let’s turn the radio’s volume up and down” beat, “Boyfriend” manages to be the stickiest thing Ari’s released in a long, long time.

Katherine St Asaph: I liked this song better when it was a hard-rock song by Aimee Allen, not an inferior “Thank U, Next” held together not by exes but by the flimsy prospect of suddenly being expected to give a shit about a “Social House.”

Joshua Lu: Have you ever listened to “Thank U, Next” and thought to yourself, “You know what this song needs? Two dudes whimpering for over a minute!” Me neither.

Reader average: [1.33] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Ariana Grande & Social House – Boyfriend”

  1. feels like a cheap attempt to capitalize off of tun’s success

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