Could ‘For You’ Be Rita Ora’s + Liam Payne’s Big-Time American Breakthrough?
Do two British pop acts with moderate American success + one dance-banger released in tandem with the Fifty Shades franchise = true Stateside success, at long last?
Rita Ora and One Direction export Liam Payne have certainly made a case that it should. The "Your Song" and "Strip That Down" singers have achieved all the makings of a smash with the new "For You" from the forthcoming Fifth Shades Freed soundtrack. And, in a perfect world, the track would transcend the benchmark set by Taylor Swift's and Zayn's previous Fifty Shades effort "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."
"Every tear, every fear / Gone with the thought of you / Changing what I thought I knew / I'll be yours for a thousand lives," Ora croons over a gentle first verse before the track lifts, and delivers electric staccato-synth you last heard on Passion Pit's Manners. It's dramatic, ripe for an urgent movie montage and even supplies an out-of-left field acoustic guitar riff just when you think you've got it all figured out.
In other words, it's a sure thing, and shows just enough restraint to match contemporary pop's preferred state of malaise — but will it be received as such? Payne's and Ora's collective chart history indicates it could go either way.
Ora, for her many exceptional pop tracks ("I Will Never Let You Down," "Radioactive," the Ed Sheeran-penned "Your Song"), has nevertheless seen little commercial success where American markets are concerned. She's netted a handful of No. 1 tracks and a No. 1 album in the United Kingdom, but has only charted as high as No. 62 in the United States with "This Is How We Do (Party)."
Payne, all the while, saw massive success in both countries as a member of One Direction, but as a solo artist, hasn't yet cracked single-digit standings on American charts — "Strip That Down" peaked at No. 10. Former bandmate Harry Styles, on the other hand, reached No. 4 with "Sign of the Times" and Zayn made it to No. 1 with "Pillowtalk" and No. 2 with "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."
Listen above and share your thoughts in the comments!
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