We’re going to be honest; we’ve given up hope that we’re going to get a new, full-length project from Mario any time soon. All of his most recent comeback plans have either been short-circuited either by label drama or audience confusion and inconsistency. But, all that aside, we are still always up to listen to whatever new drop he has and this one is right up our alley.
Mario can never go wrong when he showcases his vocal ability. While he can make a song work even when he phones it in, it’s tracks like this that separate him from other male singers of the modern R&B era. He comes with scale-traipsing falsetto and baritone notes that are so close together and, yet, so clear in their transition, you wonder how he does it without multiple takes. He doesn’t overdo it one the adlibs, but he doesn’t make the track overly plain either, infusing just enough emotion into his runs to make them more than just moments to show off. He does an excellent job of drawing the listener in from the beginning and keeping their attention throughout.
That part is probably for the best because, even though it’s not awful, the production of this track is somewhat generic. Mario has always had love in equal amounts for R&B and EDM and this is one of those tracks that tries to fuse both styles to make something interesting. Unfortunately, it misses the mark by not being distinct in its elements and, after the first minute, kind of fades into the background in that you kind of forget that its there.
The main thing that we have always loved about Mario is that, even when he was young and starting out, his lyrics were almost always solid. Speaking on being torn between his past and a possible future, he’s trying to tune out doubts in his mind that are pulling him in two directions. This is something that so many people can find relatable in one way or another, and the metaphors contained within are great. The lines even with two queens in my hand/If I’m playing games, I can still lose is both poignant and on-topic. You can always put this one and get in your feelings without it feeling juvenile or silly.
The visual element is strong as well. There are a lot of beauty shots in this, but most of them are in service to a large visual metaphor of these two people being isolated from one another in motivation, with one wanting to get closer and the other pulling away. The constant showcasing of water also gives the singer a chance to be sexy-wet while still working with the title.
We would love for this to be the track that finally leads to an album, but we’re not holding our breath. For now, we’ll just enjoy this and thank the powers that be that we’ve gotten something from such a talent.