Sony Music Entertainment Australia / Wonderlick Recording Company
Release Date: October 7th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Only Wanna Be With You
Amy Shark (whom we’ve blogged about in terms of her burgeoning influence, and who we will be seeing more of, given that Amy Shark is going to be a judge on the revival of Australian Idol in 2023), has been one of Australia’s most accomplished and sought-out musicians over the past few years. One of the most vulnerable, emotive, powerful, honest, authentic, and inspiring Aussie artists at the moment; Amy’s brand of ‘pop’ has been trending over the last 2-3 years or so- with the songs having a lyric-focus while still sounding folksy and singer-songwriter, but always trying to deliver songs that are catchy and compelling. Is that considered ‘pop’? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this whole word of ‘pop’ has changed and is meaning something now totally different than before, that Amy’s music is even considered to be classified as pop in the first place; but as we’ve bluntly put it in our assessment of Amy’s second album Cry Forever; we’ve found something unique and different. While at times Amy’s vocals and the way she sings conjures up someone like Missy Higgins; Amy’s music sounds a lot more hauntingly emotive compared to Missy’s- Missy’s songs are much bouncier and jovial on the surface, even though they do touch on some heavy topics, but Amy on the other hand tends to wear her heart seemingly more-so on her sleeve more often- there’s more songs on Cry Forever that are indeed slower and much more introspective, and that’s ok. In such a climate of today, you do need songs that reflect that mellow and inwardly looking feeling we have gravitated towards for a while now.
While on the whole Amy’s second album was more reflective, contemplative, ballad-ish and acoustic guitar prominent; Amy has today released something new. Her brand-new single “Only Wanna Be With You” is infinitely more ‘poppy’ and musically engaging than anything from Cry Forever… and does this mean that the next album from Amy will be more akin to the ‘pop’ of today rather than the deeper meaningful type of ‘pop’ that we’ve been accustomed with over Amy’s discography? While much of Cry Forever discussed intense and heavy topics, “Only Wanna Be With You”, an 80’s inspired pop song, is lyrically more frivolous, blasé and chilled, as Amy powerfully and enthusiastically relays to us all that she only wants to be with this one particular person and that she is lovesick for the person that she can’t have but knows she still loves. Come to think about it, Amy is singing about a vulnerable topic- the topic of unrequited love, which is an age-old concept that has been covered plenty of times over the years in popular and not-so-popular songs. But you wouldn’t know that this song is deep by the melody… and is that a good thing or a bad thing? Dunno. You be the judge.
It’s a fine line between having a song that isn’t melodically flash but lyrically strong and the opposite- focusing more on the music than the lyrics. While the theme of the song is strong here, the lyrics themselves and the execution leave me wanting… although the music is incredibly catchy. And herein lies the issue, albeit a small one. I love Amy Shark’s music on the whole. But this song is weird. “Only Wanna Be With You” about something universal, but the execution is off, but Amy’s vocals are brilliant and her passion is evident. This song is solid- but I do know that Amy is lyrically better than this. So… where does this leave us? Listening to Cry Forever and marvelling at her superb lyricism. And listening to this song and marvelling at her musical pop sensibilities. Will there ever be a song which marries the two? There might be on her upcoming third album. Till then, let’s keep listening to Amy’s discography… and appreciating that sometimes, lyrics and music can be at odds, and that’s ok to be present somewhere in that tension.
This song is about finding someone who you really love spending time with. Someone who you kind of just can’t get enough of. But because you can’t be with that person, you date a bunch of other people in hopes that you will form those same feelings with someone else. But you won’t, because you only want to be with that other person.
RIYL: Delta Goodrem, Missy Higgins, Keith Urban, Tina Arena, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian