“I’ll Never Love Again” has been insulted on this site by Lainey Lui multiple times now. Yesterday, she dared to call it “sh-t". That was the last straw. I refuse to stand by and let the most impressive song on the A Star Is Born soundtrack be disrespected like this.
Before I start my 6-part TED Talk on why “I’ll Never Love Again” is a f-cking great song, let me strengthen my argument with help from Lady Gaga herself and the A Star Is Born Oscar campaign. On Friday, Gaga dropped the music video for “I’ll Never Love Again” which is basically a 4 minute and 52 second For Your Consideration ad. Plus, the three songs that Warner Bros. is officially submitting into the Best Original Song race are “Shallow,” “Always Remember Us This Way” and oh, LOOK it’s “I’ll Never Love Again.” Only two songs from one film can be nominated so the safe bets are “Shallow” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” Of course, “Shallow” is the frontrunner but as Jezebel pointed out, “I’ll Never Love Again” has a solid chance. Why does it have a shot at an Oscar? BECAUSE IT’S A GOOD SONG.
In Lainey’s flimsy-at-best smear campaign against “I’ll Never Love Again,” she compared it to what she says is the worst song on The Bodyguard soundtrack. First of all, there are no bad songs on The Bodyguard soundtrack. Next case.
Lainey also claims that “I’ll Never Love Again” is forgettable and she and Duana even ganged up on me in our group chat last night to call it bland. “I’ll Never Love Again” is not a forgettable song. If “Shallow” wasn’t so catchy, it would be the most memorable song in the movie. As for longevity and a song that will hold up decades from now, I think “I’ll Never Love Again” even has the edge over “Shallow.” It gives Gaga the classic tearful performance moment that every great movie of this genre needs. There were audible sobs in my theatre during “I’ll Never Love Again” (not just mine) and before Lainey can say that the sobbing distracted us from a bad song, let me just say that a piece of music that can move an entire room of people to tears is not bland, DUANA. (Lainey: I wasn’t in that room.) I also listen to “I’ll Never Love Again” every morning while lip-synching in the mirror and even without the tears, it still slaps.
Bottom line: “I’ll Never Love Again” is a great power ballad. It’s a throwback slow, emotional number that sounds like it should be from the early catalogue of pop diva greats like Whitney, Mariah, or Celine. It’s devastating, simple and powerful. It builds to the perfect crescendo. It uses Lady Gaga’s falsetto flawlessly. It’s also her best ballad to date. Come at me, Joanne stans.
If there is any valid critique of “I’ll Never Love Again” it’s that it’s trying too hard to be “I Will Always Love You” but to me, that’s not a bad thing. In the attempt to recreate an iconic song, they stumbled onto another GREAT pop ballad. “I’ll Never Love Again” reminded me so much of Whitney, part of the reason I cried so hard the first time I saw it was because in that final scene of A Star Is Born, I felt Whitney’s presence in Gaga’s voice. I felt her influence in Gaga’s vocal runs. The quiet confidence and emotion in Lady Gaga’s performance broke me. A GOOD SONG DOES THAT.
Let me also address Lainey’s point yesterday about “Why Did You Do That?”, otherwise known as “the butt song” (Sarah especially likes this nickname), and how pop music is portrayed through the eyes of Jackson Maine in A Star Is Born. She’s right. I agree that Jackson is a pretentious music snob whose jealousy, age, and misogyny cloud him from seeing the value in pop music. The film doesn’t call him out for it enough. The irony though isn’t that he wrote a “sh-t” song for Ally, it’s that Ally took his lyrics and turned them into a POP SONG. That’s the victory. The song that is used to *SPOILER ALERT* remember Jackson Maine in death is in fact the thing that he loathed in life – it’s pure pop.
On Oscar night, we know that at least one song from the A Star Is Born soundtrack will be performed. I doubt Bradley Cooper is going to muster up the Jackson Maine courage to sing in front of his peers (especially when Ryan Gosling didn’t for La La Land). So, the song that Gaga will use to silence a room of A-listers, and bring them to tears, is going to be “I’ll Never Love Again.” That is my official prediction.
Pray to Beyoncé that Team LG survives the long road to A Star Is Born’s inevitable Best Original Song Oscar. I think we’re going to be fighting the whole way.