Many have speculated over the falsities of Gwen Stefani rebounding from Gavin Rossdale with fellow The Voice judge and country singer Blake Shelton, but her newest single, “Make Me Like You,” from the forthcoming album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like (a name gleaned from her tweet of the track list), is bursting with too much genuineness to ignore. It possesses the sort of jubilance not heard from Stefani since 2004’s “Bubblepop Electric” from the Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album.
With a dreamy opening that consists of a lot of “ah ah ah ahs,” Stefani details her hesitancy about falling in love with someone else again as she sings, “I was fine before I met you/I was broken but fine/I was lost and uncertain, but my heart was still mine.” The desire to remain free from the hold of someone else is an earnest one, not just on Stefani’s part but anyone who has ever known the pain of heartache and the fear that comes with metaphorically opening this fragile organ again.
The pratfalls letting someone in after being burned? “I’m so mad ’cause now you got me missing you.” Though it’s a simple pop song, the lyrical content is rife with a topic profound in its indentifiability. A departure from the open woundedness of “Used to Love You,” “Make Me Like You” is the flip-side of the breakup problem. The risk we take in liking another person in the wake of a relationship failure is one of the bravest acts one can take. Because, inevitably, another collapse occurs, prompting us to ask, like Stefani, “Why’d you have to go and make me like you?”