When you hear out Broken Hearted by ARIA, several layers of thoughts come across your mind. In the beginning, you think, “Oh this is that Pop-Rock that Barbie and Y2K folks dance to!” but then the hook comes in and you think to yourself, “Damn these swag-filled drums are so R&B!” And you’d be right in both instances. Broken Hearted forms an unexpectedly cunning bridge between two vastly different genres and delivers them as one potent sonic product that has you singing along almost immediately.
As for the inspiration behind the song, ARIA recounts exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment: “I wrote Broken Hearted on my first day living in LA. I didn’t really know what I was making as it was being written, but the moment I performed it over the beat, I could tell it was special. It was how I really felt now that I was thousands of miles away from the people I love. A genuine emotion bloomed out of thin air, some guitar, and me being me.”
So brokenhearted, cold/ Oh don’t get me started, don’t/ I wish I locked the door but instead I let her in/ She doin’ me dirty all over again, the filter-processed hook reverberates in the distance making the initial moments of the song a subtle earworm familiarizing you in advance with the catchiest element of Broken Hearted. This is genius as by the time you get to the actual hook, you will feel as if you’re just listening to a song you’ve always had on your playlist. It is a bit dumbfounding why more artists don’t engage in this early setup.
With liveliness typical of Pop Rock, ARIA sings: Liquor in my hand she said I taste like dope/ She wanna spend the night I said baby you could go/ Had to hit her with a nope, gotta jay I’m on a roll/ Put her ass on hold. ARIA’s voice is incredibly pertinent to the genre and yet, when you open your ears more than surface level, these are straight bars! You could quite literally take these lyrics and rap them on top of a Hip Hop track. This is that curious sonic bridge uniting the fun of Pop Rock with the swag and cool of R&B. Who would have thought? Guitars can be blended with sexy drums via Rap-like bars. Amazing and rather a case study on its own.
The hook, instead of following the traditional buildup, sees a cooldown and direct plunge into R&B instrumentation and genre-specific vocalization. And have you taken notice just how smooth that transition felt because you’ve heard it in the beginning? Yes, gents and ladies (flipping words in the name of modern equality), nothing short of mainstream hit songwriting skills!
Now the second part of the song… Holy wow! Worthy of its own Netflix take: Cameras on roll, release all the smoke/ I do what I want and that’s all I know/ Don’t ask where I’ll go but I tell you where I won’t/ ‘Cause all you ever did is just steal my clothes. One can’t help but marvel, stare, gawk, and repeat the whole thing with great excitement. Songs bluntly depicting the emotional dynamic that’s not exactly healthy between the two main characters, are few and far between. But juxtaposed on a perfectly produced hybrid instrumental? Unheard of! I just wanted head then you f*cked my life up/ I just wanna smoke but you lost my lighter/ I just wanted peace but you such a fighter/ Miss you kinda, wait! F*ck you.
Broken Hearted doesn’t seek approbation for its daring experimentation of merging Pop Rock with R&B but it rather seeks an open-minded host with an appreciation for vast productions, blunt lyrics, and hardcore life fun infused in the mood of the song. A 10 out of 10 song as per Blue Rhymez Entertainment.
Song Credits: Alexander King (ARIA) – Singer, Songwriter; Michael McCall (Boston), Pat McManus – Music Producers.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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