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We broke down the latest Fifty Shades Freed trailer earlier this week, and now it’s time to break down the first single off of the upcoming Fifty Shades soundtrack, Liam Payne and Rita Ora’s “For You.”
Like every other Fifty Shades single, “For You” is chock-full of sappy, romantic lyrics and obvious sexual overtones. But while Ora shines on the brand-new track, Payne’s performance falls a little flat. Don’t get us wrong—the catchy, upbeat tune is right up Payne’s alley (even though the first few synthy bars of “For You” remind us more of another beloved movie single than “Strip That Down” or “Bedroom Floor”). We’re just suggesting that Payne doesn’t sell the sinister sultriness of Fifty Shades in “For You” as well as some of his other former 1D members could have.
And yes, that includes Zayn, who teamed up with Taylor Swift for Fifty Shades Darker’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” “For You” isn’t as sensual or as memorable as “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (though it’ll probably grow on us after a few more listens), but it is deserving of the same earworm status as Fifty Shade’s other singles. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say that it’s even better than a couple of older, more famous Fifty Shades tracks. And because we take this stuff way too seriously, we’ve taken the liberty of ranking each Fifty Shades single just to see how “For You” fares against the tracks of years past.
The single that started it all. Not all Queen Bey fans were happy to hear the chanteuse’s 2003 smash hit remixed and included in a Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, but you can’t deny that the reimagined version is dark, sexy, and a little bit (i.e. very) creepy—in other words, the perfect musical embodiment of the Fifty Shades franchise as a whole. We were never able to listen to “Crazy in Love” in quite the same way after 2014, and for that reason we put this track at the top.
We would have put this track at number one if it weren’t for the fact that Beyoncé’s oozes sheer awesomeness. “Earned It” is the confident, mysterious Christian Grey come to life, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we learned that The Weeknd’s voice was carefully and purposely manufactured to simultaneously seduce and impress Fifty Shades fans across the globe.
Not our favourite Fifty Shades single, but Zayn and Swift have just a tad more musical chemistry than Payne and Ora do. The track also gets extra points for its top-notch music video.
Again, “For You” isn’t as intriguingly ominous as “Crazy in Love” or “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” but the track’s triumphant, buoyant tone actually kind of works in its favour. Anastasia and Christian apparently have to fight off predators and avoid stalkers in Fifty Shades Freed, but the two are also married and seemingly happier than they’ve ever been and “For You” accurately reflects that.
We love Halsey, and we would have put this track higher if the competition weren’t so fierce. Halsey may be the female equivalent of The Weeknd in terms of soaring, emotionally affecting R&B vocal prowess, but unfortunately “Not Afraid Anymore” never quite attained the level of popularity the other tracks in this list did.
Like “For You,” “Love Me Like You Do” is more upbeat than the likes of “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” and “Earned It.” But Goulding’s crystal clear, bell-like voice doesn’t quite vibe with the unapologetic raunchiness that Fifty Shades of Grey epitomized back in its heyday. It’s still a great standalone track, though.