Rating: 4.9/5 stars

I’m calling it: “Genius” is the song of the summer. This song is flat-out impressive. Well-written, well-produced, easily understood, catchy as all get out, and with a powerful message and superstar trio (with an amazing name), there’s no stopping it. The only reason I gave “Genius” 4.9 starts instead of five is because I’m sure it’ll be so overplayed that I’ll be sick of it within a week, but let’s enjoy it while we can.

I literally cannot critique this track, so let’s dissect the lyrics instead. I’m probably definitely overthinking this, but bear with the English major in me:

In the first pre-chorus, Labrinth chimes, “only a genius could love a woman like she,” which is obviously incorrect grammar (“she” is a subject; “her” is an object). So, despite mentioning really smart-sounding topics like algebra, this man is probably not a genius if he can’t even use “she” and “her” properly.

Then, Sia takes the second verse — Labrinth professes his love for her in the first — and requites his feelings. Yay! But, in this pre-chorus, Sia sings “only a genius could love a woman like me.”

For the rest of the song, it switches back and forth from “a woman like you” and “a woman like me” depending on who’s speaking, but the point is that they never return to “a woman like she.”

Here’s the point: we’ve established that the person emulated in Labrinth’s parts is probably not an actual genius, and the person emulated in Sia’s parts most likely isn’t either, but, as the song continues and both parties reassure the other of their mutual love, they seem to grow “smarter” together. The bad grammar goes away; they sing more parts together; the harmonies get more complex.

What this song is positing, then, is that the person we choose to be with/chooses to be with us is always a genius in our eyes — both for the reason that when you’re with someone who truly loves you for you, you both become better people, and for the reason that if you hold yourself in high esteem, anyone who loves you is a genius because you ain’t gonna settle for no dummy.

Thank you; I will be submitting this mini-essay to the academic board.

Just go listen to this song. That’s all.

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