Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hailee Steinfeld - HAIZ

Hailee Steinfeld - HAIZ

Has there been a more brazen song this year than Hailee Steinfeld’s Love Myself?

Not only is it one of the best pop songs of the year, but it’s one of the best pop songs about masturbation you’re likely to hear, ever.

But then, some of the best pop songs often have a not-so-subtle, secondary sexual meaning. How many people, for instance, have since realised that the Spice Girls’ 2 Become 1 is actually advocating safe sex (“be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on”)?

On the one hand, then, Love Myself is a fizzing pop anthem about self-empowerment; on the other, it's about giving yourself a quick grope. "I'm gonna touch the pain away", "I know how to scream my own name", "I'm gonna put my body first and love me so hard 'til it hurts". Literally every single lyric has this dichotomy, which in itself is pretty clever.

The pop sound and the brazen lyrical content continues on the rest of 'HAIZ', the actress-singer's debut EP. You're Such A repeatedly ends that statement with words beginning with 'd' before dissolving into a taunting "dadada" lyric. Rock Bottom is a punchy power ballad about a passionate relationship, with typically widescreen 80s production. And next single Hell Nos And Headphones is an ode to introversion and individuality, despite its awkward syntax.

The issue with 'HAIZ', though, is that Steinfeld doesn't really stand out as a popstar, despite her accomplished acting career. Sonically, it's a mix of Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, Tove Lo and so many others, all delivered with that Scandi sheen you'd expect from producers Mattman and Robin. It's as if, ironically enough, Steinfeld has spent too long loving others other than herself. The result is that 'HAIZ' just doesn't quite have enough originality, and no amount of sexy double-entendre can make up for that.

3/5

Listen: 'HAIZ' is available now.