Top 40 single reviews

Tori Kelly

Should’ve Been Us

Album: Unbreakable Smile

Year: 2015

              Tori Kelly replays every mistake she made in the her last relationship in the            prying “Should’ve Been Us.”

                Bold synths open the single. setting a distracted tone. She tries to avoid the couple holding hands and whispering to each other. She turns head away and then looks at the pavement instead. She bumps into people. They yell at her to watch out but she doesn’t care. She’s only thinking of her ex-boyfriend. She thought going out would make her feel better. However, it’s only made her feel worse. He isn’t even on her Facebook anymore. She has no idea what’s going on with him and it leaves her empty. (“Walk around with my head down/But I can't hide with these high heels on/Downtown in the thick crowd/But it’s just you that my mind is on/Dressed up, got my heart messed up/You got yours and I got mine/It's unfair that I still care/And I wonder where you are tonight.”)

               In the pre-chorus, she thinks maybe if she had listened more and or had decided to spend less time on her work, they would’ve worked out. It’s a possibility. (“Thinkin’ it could be different/Maybe we missed it/Thinkin’ it could be different/It could, it could.”)

                 In the chorus, she looks up his Facebook photo. There, he’s standing close to his new girlfriend, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She wishes it was her in the photo. They had their problems but they had passion, too. (“It should've been us/Should've been a fire, should've been the perfect storm/It should've been us/Could've been the real thing, now we'll never know for sure/We were crazy, but amazing/Baby, we both know/It should've been us, us/It, it, it should've been us.”)

                 They couldn’t agree on anything. It was aggravating and she didn’t know how to communicate with him. However, as frustrated she got, she still wanted him. (“Back and forth like a tug o’ war/What's it all for; do I want it back?/Still got a little flame for ya/Even though you drove me mad/Now and then, I pretend/That it's you when I close my eyes/You got yours, I got mine/But I wonder where you are tonight.”)

                  The chorus is sung again.

                  In the bridge, she wishes she was the one going on trips with him. (“It should’ve been us.”)

                The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again. 

                In the final section, she adds he should be in her profile picture, smiling. 

                 Kelly doesn’t like her new reality without her ex-boyfriend. They had a flawed relationship but they had something worth saving. She demonstrates her hurt well in the chorus. However, her speaking during the verses does take away from it. She has to learn how to balance.

                The  lacking  “Should’ve Been Us” underuses her vocal chops.


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