‘The Good Side’ is a strong, mature breakup song

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 12:17pm

NOSELL

Universal Music Australia

 

Troye Sivan’s newest single, “The Good Side,” is his most mature release yet. Its attraction lies in the fact that it invites the listener to mature along with him.

“The Good Side” deals with a breakup. The beginning of the song is soft and acoustic, a combination that always feels like it lends itself — whether this is true or not — to authenticity. Sivan’s polished lyrics reinforce this, as he acknowledges, “I got the good side of things / Left you with both of the rings.” He’s refreshingly self-aware, not only professing what he’s learned from the relationship, but he also admits that his job as a musician might have made things harder for his ex (“The people danced to the sound of your heart / The world sang along to it falling apart”). This is a position of sympathy that is surprisingly rare in breakup songs. One gets the sense that Sivan is trying to treat the other person justly and compassionately, at one point claiming: “So many thoughts I wanted to share / But I didn’t call because it wouldn’t be fair.”

The soft feeling never really leaves the song, but around halfway through, it blooms into a much more expansive wall of sound. The suddenly synthy atmosphere doesn’t seem like it would blend so well with the acoustics of the rest of the song, but it actually does. By the four-minute mark, the song itself has matured into a self-conscious act of poetry dressed up in dazzling electronica. It’s starry but not flashy, deep but not at all empty.

“I’m sure we’ll meet in the spring / And catch up on everything,” Sivan sings in the final verse. And you can’t help but hope that they do.