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|It Ain't Me|
It Ain't Me Cover
|Featured Artist(s)||Kygo & Selena Gomez|
|Released||February 16, 2017|
|Genre||Tropical house, pop|
"It Ain't Me" is a song by Norwegian DJ/record producer Kygo and American singer Selena Gomez. It was released on 16 February 2017 (credited as 17 February 2017 due to an error) through Kygo AS, Sony Music Entertainment and Ultra Music, in addition to Interscope Records and Universal Music Group in the US. The song was written by Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, Selena Gomez, Brian Lee, Ali Tamposi and Andrew Watt, with the production being handled by Kygo. It is reportedly the lead single from Kygo's upcoming sophomore album and a buzz single for Gomez's third solo album.
The single was announced via Gomez and Kygo social media accounts on 13 February 2017.
Musically, "It Ain't Me" is a midtempo tropical house ballad. It's moody, dark, and subdued production consists of strummed guitars, pulsing piano notes, heavy synths, finger-snap claps and tropical pan flute melodies, combining a multitude of textures. The understated and melancholy track pairs quiet, soft, and simple verses, which draw influence from country and rock and roll, with uptempo "soaring" stadium choruses containing pulsing beats and piano synth chords. Described as a "classic modern day electronic-pop tune", it's production is composed of layers of organic instrumentation such as guitars and pianos alongside pulsating electronic beats, creating a stripped back Caribbean-influenced pop song. Critics noted that the song blends artistic elements from Kygo and Gomez, resulting in the duo entering new sonic ground.
"It Ain't Me" opens as a folk pop song showcasing Gomez's vocals accompanied solely by soft, sinewy acoustic guitar plucks and "playful" licks, which according to De Elizabeth of Teen Vogue invokes "images of a breezy beach day". As the verse progresses, an "electric-pop" sound begins to build, with a "clean" progression that follows the increasing intensity of the guitar strums and piano notes. Moving to the pre-chorus, Gomez sings atop "heavy" synthesizers as the track slowly builds towards a stuttered and subdued breakdown, with Kygo's upbeat tropical house production emerging moments before the song ultimately climaxes in the lines "Who's going to the walk you through the dark side of the morning / It ain’t me". During the chorus, the producer chops and samples Gomez's vocals from the verses, creating chord-buoyed builds and drops featuring finger-snap claps and tropical pan flute melodies over dancehall beats. Mike Wass of Idolator said the song "sounds like a cross between Avicii’s organic dance anthems like "Hey Brother" and the electro-trickery of Kiiara's "Gold". It’s subdued and dark, but also infinitely relatable."
Lyrically, "It Ain't Me" narrates a relationship ruined over alcoholism, with themes of crushed dreams and heartbreak, while sending a message of finding the strength needed to leave a drama-filled relationship. Throughout the song, Gomez reminisces on the couple's teenage origins, singing: "I had a dream we were back to seventeen / Summer nights and the liberties / Never growing up", before detailing it's inevitable decline: "Somewhere along the line / We stopped seeing eye to eye / You were staying out all night / And I had enough." She eventually decides to leave the relationship, as noted in lyrics such as "I'll take with me the polaroids and the memories / but you know I'm going to leave behind the worst of us". Before leaving, she asks her former lover "Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning? / Who's gonna rock you when the sun won't let you sleep? / Who's waking up to drive you home when you're drunk and all alone? / Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning?" before "triumphantly" exclaiming "It ain't me".
"It Ain't Me" received positive reviews from music critics. Declaring it among the most mature-sounding records of Gomez's career, Matt Medved of Billboard predicted the song would perform well on music charts. Writing for E! News, Francesca Bacardi also took note of the song's mature tone, calling it a departure from the "sultry" and "sexy" persona used on her previous singles. Bacardi complimented the DJ's ability to balance the vocals with the production, saying "the song sounds like it's guaranteed to be a hit". In a list of Kygo's top ten songs compiled by fellow Billboard writer Kat Bein, "It Ain't Me" was named the best track of his career thus far, saying "it's Selena Gomez' voice who comes in powerful and strong, ready to take Kygo's collaborative vocal game to a whole new level." She went on to praise the producer's application of the "cut and paste" technique used on the Gomez's vocals during the chorus, noting that "It Ain't Me" "heralds a new era of Kygo's sound". Mike Wass of Idolator gave a positive review, and mentioned the song was completely new sonic territory for Gomez, saying: "When you take into consideration the catchy, chanted chorus, you’re left with a surprisingly deep banger with massive radio appeal." InStyle writer Lara Walsh called "It Ain't Me" "the ultimate breakup anthem of the moment", while speculating that the lyrics pertained to her relationship with Justin Bieber. Lucas Villa of AXS praised the track, saying "Kygo conjures up a collaboration that feels rustic yet radiant and Gomez goes all in." Writing for Mic, Natelegé Whaley said the song was "a mature take on owning the goodbye instead of waiting around for an even sadder end" and praised the mixture of Kygo and Gomez's sound.
- ↑ ASCAP (1 February 2017). "Selena Gomez Registers New Song on ASCAP As A Songwriter - ASCAP". ASCAP. https://www.ascap.com/repertory#ace/search/workID/891839069.
- ↑ "Selena Gomez & Kygo New Single - Interscope". Interscope. 10 February 2017. http://playiga.com/track/kygo-x-selena-gomez-it-aint-me/.
- ↑ "Selena Gomez on Instagram: 'ItAintMe. Thurday. @kygomusic'". Instagram. 13 February 2017. https://www.instagram.com/p/BQdk0XEAqLJ/?hl=en.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Listen to Selena Gomez and Kygo's new single "It Ain't Me"". Time. February 16, 2017. http://time.com/4673694/selena-gomez-kygo-it-aint-me.
- ↑ "Kygo Previews Selena Gomez Collab In New Instagram Video". At40. February 10, 2017. http://www.at40.com/news-article/kygo-previews-selena-gomez-collab-in-new-instagram-video/44480.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "Hear Selena Gomez's groovy new song 'It Ain't Me' with DJ Kygo". Guide. February 16, 2017. http://www.guidelive.com/music/2017/02/16/hear-selena-gomez-groovy-new-song-it-aint-me-dj-kygo.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Kygo ft Selena Gomez It Ain't Me Full Song Review". Idolator. February 16, 2017. http://www.idolator.com/7657613/kygo-selena-gomez-it-aint-me-full-song-review.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Kygo & Selena Gomez Show Their Best Sides on 'It Ain't Me' Collab: Listen". Billboard. February 16, 2017. http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7693323/kygo-selena-gomez-it-aint-me.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "Listen to Selena Gomez and Kygo's New Song "It Ain't Me". Much. February 16, 2017. http://www.much.com/selena-gomez-it-aint-me-kygo/.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "Selena Gomez Just Dropped Her New Single "It Ain't Me" and The Wait Was TOTALLY Worth It". Seventeen. February 16, 2017. http://www.seventeen.com/celebrity/music/news/a45151/selena-gomez-just-dropped-her-first-single-in-a-year-and-the-wait-was-totally-worth-it/.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Selena Gomez's New Single Was Officially dropped". CelebMix. February 16, 2017. http://celebmix.com/selena-gomezs-new-single-officially-dropped/.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "Selena Gomez and Kygo drops It Ain't Me New Single". GrooveVolt. February 16, 2017. http://groovevolt.com/2017/02/16/selena-gomez-kygo-drop-it-aint-me-single/.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 "Selena Gomez Is Unbothered About Cutting Off Her Ex On New Mellow Pop Anthem "It Ain't Me"". Music.MIC. February 16, 2017. https://mic.com/articles/168817/selena-gomez-is-unbothered-about-cutting-off-her-ex-on-new-mellow-pop-anthem-it-aint-me#.FA8DEFrXh.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Listen: Selena Gomez leaves the drama behind on Kygo's 'It Ain't Me' single". AXS. February 16, 2017. https://www.axs.com/listen-selena-gomez-leaves-the-drama-behind-on-kygo-s-it-ain-t-me-sing-114733.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Selena Gomez Releases Collaboration With DJ Kygo". TeenVogue. February 16, 2017. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/selena-gomez-releases-collaboration-dj-kygo.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "SELENA GOMEZ’S NEW SONG WITH KYGO FEATURES SOME POINTED LYRICS ABOUT A CERTAIN EX". MTV. February 16, 2017. http://www.mtv.com/news/2983942/selena-gomez-kygo-it-aint-me/.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 "Selena Gomez and akygo Release New Single "It Ain't Me"". E! Online. February 16, 2017. http://www.eonline.com/news/829945/selena-gomez-and-kygo-release-new-single-it-ain-t-me.
- ↑ "Selena Gomez & Kygo release "It Ain’t Me" Listen to it here". CultureMixMag. February 16, 2017. http://culturemixmag.com/selena-gomez-kygo-release-it-aint-me-listen-to-it-here/.
- ↑ "Selena Gome drops slammim new track with Kygo 'It Ain't Me' Listen Now". TooFab. February 16, 2017. http://toofab.com/2017/02/16/selena-gomez-drops-slammin-new-track-with-kygo-it-aint-me-listen-now/.
- ↑ "'It Ain’t Me’: Selena Gomez Is Back With Brand New Banger By Kygo". ET Canada. February 16, 2017. http://etcanada.com/news/205071/it-aint-me-selena-gomez-is-back-with-brand-new-banger-by-kygo/.
- ↑ "The 10 Best Kygo Songs". Billboard. February 16, 2017. http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7694026/kygo-songs-best-hits-list-2017.
- ↑ "Selena Drops Ultimate Breakup Anthem "It Ain't Me"". InStyle. February 16, 2017. http://www.instyle.com/news/selena-gomez-kygo-new-song-it-aint-me.