Hey, it’d be hard for anything to follow up that previous entry…
Joshua Copperman: I know this Dylan-looking being from “Into The Wild,” a gloriously over-the-top ballad that soundtracked this otherwise terrible Citibank commercial. This is the first time I’ve heard of LP in a while; she was engineered to be the person that Sia became, with both an indie background and an ear for a pop melody (even if it’s lifted from Avril Lavigne). At first, “Lost On You” sounds like whatever muse approached Greg Kurstin with “Hello” accidentally passed by Sia on the way. Then that piano toward the end lifts the whole song up into something much more likable, and even less histrionic. It prompts relistening, and upon that examination, it becomes clear that this was actually a somewhat jaunty little tune underneath the loaded production. Rather than being edgy and “secretly sad” like most of Sia’s music, this manages to be secretly happy.
Thomas Inskeep: Ridiculously overblown, hyper-dramatic strummy pop song by a songwriter who’s written lots of crappy-to-mediocre songs for lots of artists (like Karmin and Heidi Montag, as well as Rihanna and Cher) and apparently didn’t save any of the good ones for herself, either.
Alfred Soto: I hear Hayley Williams in LP’s submission to a lust she’s coming to grips with, but the arrangement is as commonplace as the title.
Olivia Rafferty: Gold star for songwriting that measures beauty with commercial accessibility, but the real magic lies in the vocal performance. Melodically, the verses lilt up and down, creating an air of nonchalance in the narrative, but as the bridge rolls in, the chorus engulfs you with the true sentiment of the song. LP’s voice breaks on these “lost on you”‘s, and the repetitions grip like a lover’s hand around the wrist.
Will Adams: You can hear it in her voice. It’s not just the double meaning of the title or the howls and whistles setting the saloon scene. The cries that punctuate every phrase in the chorus do it, each delivered with a voice so coiled it sounds on the brink of crying tears of rage. LP’s embittered toast wouldn’t work without it, and it helps that the chorus repeats to let those cries replace the words, saying far more while stinging just as much.
Ryo Miyauchi: Thankfully LP untangles her knotty lyrics to open a broad center. And that soaring, string-supported chorus sells yearning as it always has with pop like this, but what am I toasting to exactly: her long-gone lover or her precious hours spent that he can no longer take back? Self-obsession isn’t my thing unless it’s also self-aware; this sounds too sincere for that. It’s better than hearing that annoying dog whistle, though.
Lilly Gray: God damn it, someone in the comments called this a “typical Eurovision song” and now I can’t not hear the howly stomp of Norway’s “I’m in love with a fairy tale” song from however long ago. I apologize for that and now for this: a Sia with more vibrato at the end of those throaty belts. I didn’t want to notice either of those things and the rest of a perfectly serviceable song that reads as “oh, yeah, that person” emotions-wise isn’t pulling it together for me.
Iain Mew: Stomp-folk-rock crossed with “Don’t Speak,” building to a double meaning of its title. Her voice doesn’t quite stretch as far as it needs, and neither does the second meaning in “everything I’ve lost on you,” but it’s different and occasionally lush.
Brad Shoup: All the double rhymes and double meanings: a true writer’s effort. But it’s delivered with an intimate lilt on the verses, and a Stefanian longing on the chorus.
Scott Mildenhall: Polysemous titles like this might not be unique to long-time jobbing songwriters like Laura Pergolizzi, but being one, it’s no surprise that she does so well with it. She plays the whole thing straight, not winking at the variations of the title, nor treating them like a showpiece. Nothing as wild-western as this could be completely unwitting, but “Lost On You” sells its mood unironically.
Megan Harrington: I feel as though this song is supposed to turn my world to black and white and roll a steam train into the station and force me to watch as my beloved hops aboard, leaving me behind. There’s some old fashioned schmaltz frying on “Lost on You,” but it’s not deployed as convincingly as it hopes.
Cassy Gress: When I was 19 or 20 and didn’t know how to make any decisions but bad ones, I drove 400 miles with about $40 to my name in order to cheat on my boyfriend. I didn’t get there until something like 3 AM, I threw up on the side of the highway somewhere, the guy I was cheating with turned out to be an even worse match for me, and I almost ran out of gas on the way back home. My clearest memory of the trip is driving through what must have been somewhere in the vicinity of Chicago, at around 11 PM, with the highway glowing fluorescent orange, and me going about 95 in the left lane while Rufus Wainwright’s “The Tower of Learning” thrummed through my car speakers. My feelings about the memory, on the other hand, are quite handily soundtracked by “Lost on You,” LP wailing and drums thumping in resigned frustration and grief for the person I’d been brought up to think I was.