Reminiscent of “Beautiful,” “Fall in Line” is the feminist anthem we all need. The structure of the song itself isn’t particularly special, but the lyrical content combined with these two powerhouse female voices make this song a perfect five out of five.
I love collaborating, and I love other powerful women. I knew I wanted to share [Fall In Line] with another powerhouse singer that can just blow and hit high notes and take this to the next place with me. — Christina Aguilera
The performance on this track is truly astounding; I don’t know how many takes they did, but it can’t have been very many. The passion, the grit, and the fire in both Aguilera and Lovato’s voices is too raw and real to be manufactured.
The first verse sums up the lyrical content pretty well (but Lovato’s second verse is potentially even more haunting):
Little girls, listen closely
‘Cause no one told me
But you deserve to know
That in this world, you are not beholden
You do not owe them
Your body and your soul
But where the ingenuity of this track becomes apparent is the bridge, in which we hear a male’s voice intoning:
Yea, two, three
Right — two, three
Shut your mouth
Stick your ass out for me
March — two, three
Who told you you’re allowed to think?
Aguilera and Lovato’s voices literally overlap and begin to drown out this patriarchal entity, casting aside any hesitation or worries that “I’m gonna pay for this.” It’s a powerful decision that bring the track full-circle. With just the female voices, it’s still a statement, but the addition of the male persona takes it to the next level: these women aren’t just standing up for their rights when it’s easy; they’re doing it when and where it matters.
This is how you create empowerment, and Xtina’s been doing it since 1980. We’re lucky to have her.