Pop Perspective: Gwen Stefani’s “Make Me Like You” Reviewed And Rated By Idolator Editors
At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.
That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop happening to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Gwen Stefani’s new single “Make Me Like You,” which is her fourth stab at landing that comeback hit. Is she on the brink of a major revival or does her latest single miss the mark? See our thoughts below.
Robbie Daw — 9/10
Finally! It took a few tries over the past year and a half for Gwen to get it right with solo singles, but she really struck Spring Pop Anthem gold with “Make Me Like You.” Guess all it took was ending a bad longterm relationship and finding inspiration in, erm, Blake Shelton.
“Make Me Like You” contains the best echoes of the Cardigans’ ’90s staple “Lovefool” and classic Kylie Minogue. It’s also the perfect example of the type of pop we’ve been barely-patiently waiting for Gwen to churn out. More of this, please, Gwen — so much more of this.
Bianca Gracie — 8/10
Can we just yell a hearty “AMEN!” for Gwen Stefani’s wise decision of scrapping the first version of her third solo album and starting fresh?! Thank Yeezus she diverted from the bad luck route of working with Pharrell to giving us a sound that we’ve been craving from her all along — pure, vibrant and cheeky pop. “Used To Love You” tugged at heartstrings everywhere, while new song “Make Me Like You” will have you eager and unafraid to jump back into love.
The melody is so wildly infectious (shout out to Mattman & Robin) and calls for long walks on the beach, sharing cherry popsicles and soaking up the sunshine. And the way this NYC weather has been acting up, I’m glad I have another song to provide a musical escape.
After giving “Make Me Like You” multiple spins since its release, I’m now deep in my feelings as I won’t be able to spend Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend this Sunday. Lonely Idolator readers who may be in a similar situation, listen with caution. But the song is so damn good that you’ll temporarily forget all about that within three minutes and 35 seconds.
Carl Williott — 5/10
So we’re still doing this disco-pop thing, huh? Beyond that, this reminds me of Phoenix’s “Too Young,” or a blown-out The Bird and The Bee song, so I appreciate that circuitous route to pop’s center. It’s gooey and spiky at the same time, giving it a TRL pop-rock lightness, which is probably harder to pull off than it seems.
But, the last time I listened to a Gwen Stefani song it was “The Sweet Escape,” and that was more out of ubiquity than choice. So the last Gwen song I actually sought out was “Hollaback Girl.” That fact won’t change after hearing “Make Me Like You,” but it also won’t be a song I’ll try to avoid.
Mike Wass — 8/10
Despite a 10 year gap between solo albums, Gwen Stefani’s return to pop domination seemed like a no-brainer. The 46-year-old’s shiny veneer of cool never wore thin (unlike many of her contemporaries) and she has a proven track record of thinking outside the box musically. Which made her first two comeback singles all the more perplexing. “Baby Don’t Lie” was a halfhearted attempt at recapturing former glories, while I’m pretty sure they’re playing “Spark The Fire” in the elevator to hell.
But just when you thought Gwen was completely out of touch, she coughed up one of the better ballads of 2015. The “Luxurious” diva’s revival continues with “Make Me Like You,” which is that rarest of pop specimens — a hook-filled pop song for adults with actual life experience. This is about emerging from the other side of a break-up, when the gloom lifts and you have to face the possibility of starting over. A process that gets more frightening with each passing year on planet earth.
The breezy anthem took a couple of listens to worm its way into my head, but “Make Me Like You” is a worthy addition to Gwen’s discography. It doesn’t quite hit the heights of “What You Waiting For?” or “Early Winter,” but I’m suddenly optimistic that This Is What The Truth Feels Like will be more than an exercise in nostalgia.
AVERAGE SCORE: 7.5/10