Monday, April 27th, 2020

PARTYNEXTDOOR & Rihanna – Believe It

Please don’t party next door…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: With his stolid and unremarkable delivery, it’s easy to think of a dozen other artists other than PARTYNEXTDOOR who would have been more charismatic on this track. The only way to endure “Believe It” is by thinking about it as Rihanna’s potential warm-up for a surprise release of R9.  

Scott Mildenhall: Rihanna’s presence could probably elevate most things to single status, but that’s not to say it should. Her contributions here seem so cut-and-pasted that they could have been derived from a hoax chorus-loop MP3 flooded onto Kazaa by her record label. Were it not 2020, that would even be plausible — everything about this is that clinical. PARTYNEXTDOOR, meanwhile, does everything in his power to make his relationship troubles sound boring, with the casual invocation of PR possibly representing the moment at which celebrity has finally gone too far.

Katherine St Asaph: The latest version of “Cry Me a River” Except It’s Actually a Different Song, this one with the melody scooped out and replaced with overheated mush.

Nina Lea: I can’t help but feel that when PARTYNEXTDOOR got Rihanna to agree to a feature, he should have given her more to do. Rihanna is one of our greatest living pop goddesses, due in no small part to her ability to effortlessly toggle between projecting vulnerability and utter bad-bitchness, all delivered in her trademark rasp. But PARTYNEXTDOOR just has her singing rather boring lyrics over a soothing-yet-lukewarm track that goes nowhere; he could have gotten any up-and-coming R&B vocalist and the result would largely have turned out the same.

Ryo Miyauchi: Sincerity works better for PARTY when it feels like a secret, like you accidentally uncovered his true core under his shallow asshole guise. “Believe It” reveals that sensitive side to the forefront both through his earnest pleads for forgiveness and an R&B beat that really lets the sun in. He’s anonymous in this environment without much of the song distinguishing his level-headed, heart-on-sleeve passions apart from other abundant crooners like Khalid.

Thomas Inskeep: Sub-mediocre sadboi Auto-Tuned R&B that, frankly, probably wouldn’t be getting any attention were it not for the presence of Rihanna on its chorus. PARTYNEXTDOOR sounds like a xerox of a xerox of a xerox of Frank Ocean, albeit one who’s unfortunately been taking too many cues from the Weeknd’s sexual politics.

Alfred Soto: I’m not sure whom to believe: PARTNEXTDOOR’s predatory sadface routine or Rihanna singing as if she can’t persuade herself she liked the fucker to begin with. No one here gives a damn.

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