Ever since the release of his hit single Clarity featuring the ever-lovely Foxes, Zedd’s star power has been growing. He has crafted electropop gems for powerhouses Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, as well as international singers such as the Dutch Eva Simons and Japanese juggernaut Namie Amuro. He’s collaborated with everyone from dubstep DJ Skrillex to Paramore singer Hayley Williams. As much as it seems like he’s starting to live the dream, it also seems like it’s starting to go to his head.
I Want You To Know is his latest single with none other than Selena Gomez: Disney pop starlet and current girlfriend. Despite the relationship, it lacks the dreamy, almost romantic vibe of songs like Clarity and Stay the Night, and instead features aggressive synths in the first and second halves with a brighter, sparkling section between them. It reads less like his popular singles and sounds more like promotional single Slam the Door, or one of Zedd’s standard album tracks.
Stock standard Zedd wouldn’t be a terrible thing, though the song does carry some major weak spots. The drop after the chorus lacks the intensity that the verses seem to build up towards, causing the song to spend four minutes not really going anywhere. The somewhat lovey-dovey lyrics are also at odds with the more aggressive production, and nice as her voice is, Selena herself neither sells these lyrics nor saves the song.
Zedd’s inability to decide whether it’s a love song or an edgier one keep it from really going anywhere, but that’s not to say it’s a terrible song. He at least showed an attempt to differentiate his singles, even if it was pulling out something else he had done before rather than truly trying to reinvent himself for his next album. I Want You To Know isn’t the best way to follow up his debut album, but it definitely could have been worse.