Katy Perry reassures her boyfriend of her feelings in the gentle “Unconditionally."
An attentive synth opens the single, setting a soothing tone. She rubs her shoulder and he turns his head away from her. She stops, putting her hand over her mouth and leans back on her seat on the couch, thinking how she should handle it. In his past, he was promiscuous, sleeping with whoever was available. However, she knows it had to with his fear of not being good enough. She didn’t let it bother her. She is not without her baggage. Her divorce could’ve rattled him (“Oh no, did I get too close?/Oh, did I almost see what's really on the inside?/All your insecurities/All the dirty laundry/Never made me blink one time.”)
In the chorus, a tear drips from his face unto the floor. She asks him what’s wrong, letting him know he can tell her anything. She puts her chin on his shoulder and puts her arms around him, whispering “I love you” to him. Whatever he’s going to won’t change her opinion of him. (“Unconditional, unconditionally/I will love you unconditionally/There is no fear now/Let go and just be free/I will love you unconditionally.”)
He turns his head to face her and shrugs his shoulders, saying it’s not a big deal and he’s really ok. She touches his chin, her fingers scratched by his stubble, and tells him it’s ok. After he stares at her for a moment, he explains during a meeting at his work, they all but told him his recent work has been up to par. Unless he doesn’t improve soon, he’ll be let go. She puts her head on his shoulder and holds him. She tells him they will work out something. In a scratchy voice, he says he’s sorry. He didn’t mean to shut her out. But he can’t be a failure in her eyes She gives him a kiss, saying it’s all right. She explains that he has succeeded in so many others ways with her. Like helping her believe to in love again and taking her emotions seriously. (“Come just as you are to me/Don't need apologies/Know that you are worthy/I'll take your bad days with your good/Walk through this storm I would/I'd do it all because I love you, I love you.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, she says she loves him for who he is. He can let her in, knowing she won’t judge. It’s something he has to be willing to do for her. (“So open up your heart and just let it begin/Open up your heart, and just let it begin/Open up your heart, and just let it begin/Open up your heart/Acceptance is the key to be/To be truly free/Will you do the same for me?”)
The chorus is sung again to end the single.
Perry’s weighty vocals breathe in the intimacy opening within them. It’s perhaps the most important conversation of they’ve had so far. The words have been said, they can’t be taken back
The accessible “Unconditionally” breaks through once impretetnable walls.