You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Selena Gomez Lets the World In on a Rough Romance With ‘Lose You to Love Me’ (Watch)

Ever since she released “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” which served as a half-humbled, half-defiant apologia about her relationship with Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez has managed to otherwise successfully avoid the subject, at least in song, of the troubled coupling that fascinated so much of the world. Five years later, she’s returned to the scene of the crime, damaged but deeply hopeful, in “Lose You to Love Me,” a single and video that got a lot of instant love as a midnight release late Tuesday night.

Gomez doesn’t go quite as far as old friend Taylor Swift traditionally has in dropping highly specific details that make it clear to the attentive who and what sparked a song. But one lyric alone establishes a timeline that leaves no doubt that the ballad is a product of some dark days this calendar year. “In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it / In the thick of healing,” she sings in the second verse — and few pop fans will have to Google her 2019 to do the math on how long it was from her reported breakup with Bieber before he was seen out and about with his fiancé-to-very-shortly-be.

The black-and-white video by director Sophie Muller seems potentially designed to act as a bookend to the similarly monochromatic clip for “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” too. What’s different this time is that Muller has Gomez facing the camera head-on from start to finish in this one, as opposed to the tellingly averted gazes of 2014. Within that limited visual scheme, Gomez gets to do a whole actor’s exercise in shifting moods, appearing alternately heartbroken, distressed, distracted, pissed, prayerful and finally — with the slightest upturn of her mouth serving as the video’s climax — contented.

“This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album,” Gomez said in a statement accompanying the clip. “I thought it was important to share the music, as I know many can relate to the fact that the road to self-discovery generally comes through the scars in one’s life. I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself.”

The lyrics leave little doubt that Gomez felt sideswiped and boondoggled by her ex. “I gave my all and they all know it,” she sings, suggesting that maybe not just close friends but an entire watching world was witness to her devotion. The opening lines set out her sense of self-abnegation: “You promised the world and I fell for it / I put you first and you adored it / Set fires to my forest / And you let it burn / Sang off-key in my chorus / ‘Cause it wasn’t yours.” Her conclusion rests in some tough self-love: “I needed to hate you to love me.” In other words — possibly better years late than never — the heart says buzz off to what it wants.

The song represents a collaboration between Gomez and some of the hottest names in the business, including previous co-writers Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter; the Swedish producer-writer team of Mattias Larsson and Robin Fredriksson, aka Mattman & Robin; and someone newer to her team, and to the world of pop collabs in general, Finneas, of Billie Eilish fame (who’s credited with additional production).

There’s also an unusual collaborator on the video: the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple released its own excerpt of the video as part of a campaign, with the #shotoniphone hashtag also appearing on the full-length video release on Gomez’s channels.

Although Gomez has released several one-off singles in the long layoff between albums (her last full-length effort, “Revival,” came out in 2015), including the 2017 hit “Bad Liar” and several upbeat big-name collaborations, “Lose Me to Love You” is said to be the leadoff single for her next album, believed to be in the pipeline for later this fall.

More Music

  • Spotify Awards

    Spotify Is Launching Its Own Music Awards, Based on Streaming Data

    Spotify has set plans for its first-ever music awards — with the winners based entirely on user-generated data. “Your plays, patterns, and habits will help determine the award categories, finalists, and winners for the Spotify Awards by providing a true reflection of what fans are listening to,” the company said in announcing the program Friday. [...]

  • Sheryl Crow 53rd Annual CMA Awards,

    Sheryl Crow Expresses Chagrin Over Grammy Snub in Tweet to Recording Academy

    Many longtime awards-show observers have expressed surprise that former Grammy queen Sheryl Crow didn’t get even a single nomination this year for what she’s said will be her final studio album release, “Threads.” Among them is Crow herself, who tweeted her dismay about the lack of recognition for the all-star duets album in a post [...]

  • Taylor Swift

    Scooter Braun Writes Impassioned Letter to Taylor Swift Following Death Threats

    Following Scooter Braun’s first public statements about the ongoing social media war with Taylor Swift on Thursday afternoon, the manager and business mogul posted an emotional letter late in the night describing death threats received at his home. In the note, shared on his social media channels, he implores Swift to act responsibly, writing, “It’s [...]

  • U2, Seattle 14 May 2017

    U2 Drop New Song, ‘Ahimsa,’ Ahead of First Concert in India

    After a flurry of rumors on Thursday, U2 dropped their first single in two years: “Ahimsa,” a collaboration with Oscar- and Grammy-winning Indian musician AR Rahman, ahead of the group’s first-ever visit to the country next month. Rahman has a vast track record of film soundtracks and is best known for his work on the [...]

  • French Montana performs at the 2019

    French Montana Hospitalized Following Robbery False Alarm

    French Montana remains in hospital after checking in following an initial report of a robbery at his home, Variety has confirmed. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department representative confirmed that deputies responded to Montana’s home in Calabasas after reports of a robbery in progress but did not find evidence of criminal activity and departed the [...]

  • Coldplay Everyday Life

    Album Review: Coldplay’s ‘Everyday Life’

    “Just because I’m losing,” Chris Martin once sang, “doesn’t mean I’m lost.” A platitude to end all platitudes, this line is a prime example of the familiar arena-rock territory Coldplay has prowled so successfully for nearly 20 years. The soliloquy framing and vague but relatable message are both present on “Lost” from 2008’s “Viva la [...]

  • Leonard Cohen album cover

    Album Review: Leonard Cohen's 'Thanks for the Dance'

    “But wait — there’s more!” can be a good news/bad news thing when it comes to posthumous album releases. No one, or almost no one, likes the idea of scraps from a late artist’s cutting room floor slowly being dribbled out over time, as happened with Tupac Shakur, who somehow released more studio albums in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content