I haven’t written even a quasi review of a song lately and that feels so wrong. I wasn’t intending to write a blog tonight, but here I am.
“The Heart Wants What It Wants” popped up on my Spotify a few minutes ago and I became entranced immediately by Selena’s lyrics. Last Sunday, Selena performed the song on the American Music Awards (AMAs) and it was heartbreakingly simple and beautiful.
The song is about someone in love. I don’t mean like cute little crushing on someone “love.” I mean the real thing.
The bed’s getting cold and you’re not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I’m not alive until you call
And I’ll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice ’cause I won’t hear
You might be right but I don’t care
There’s a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants
The lyrics sound desperate and every time she sings it, it seems like she’s almost gasping for air. I’m not sure gasping is the right word because it’s extremely difficult to be gasping and singing at the same time, but it’s the best way to describe the pain her voice inflects.
This is a modern fairy tale
No happy endings
No wind in our sails
But I can’t imagine a life without
Breaking me down down down
There’s a simple beauty in the line “This is a modern fairy tale” I think. 2014 love songs are about jealousy, revenge and sleeping around. This song is different. This song emphasizes a pain that people feel when they’re in love with a person who doesn’t completely feel the same way about them.
Selena is surrendering to the fact that her heart wants a very specific person in a specific way and that she believes she can’t live without them. It’s the “modern fairy tale” because she’s in pain. That sounds so wrong, but most people these days express a need to feel an all consuming love that is completely irrational. It’s that train of thought and behavior that’s been romanticized on screen the past few years.
This fairy tale however, it’s also a nightmare. She sings “save your advice ’cause I won’t hear,” implying people, maybe even the one she loves, is telling her that she should move on, that he isn’t the one for her.
You got me sippin’ on something
I can’t compare to nothing
I’ve ever known, I’m hoping
That after this fever I’ll survive
I know I’m acting a bit crazy
Strung out, a little bit hazy
Hand over heart, I’m praying
That I’m gonna make it out alive
They’ve probably already broken up. He’s left the bed and it’s getting cold, she feels like she’s going crazy and she can’t move on because the “Heart Wants What It Wants.”
This song has such a different tone than anything I’ve listened to by Selena. It makes me both sad, because she must have actually gone through something like this to get the emotions just right as she sings it, and happy because it’s not just another pop song.