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Track Review

What does the "good life" look like?

That's a huge question—and an important one too—one that probably has almost as many answers as there are longing hearts to ponder it.

In "Roses," the eclectic EDM duo known as The Chainsmokers (composed of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall) give their answer, delivered via the lilting, Lorde-like vocal prowess of a 22-year-old guest singer named … Rozes.

Intoxicating Intimacy

"Roses" is equal parts sensual and suggestive, lush and luxurious (in an synth-drenched, EDM kind of way). The opening verse paints with impressionist brushstrokes, outlining the portrait woman a woman caught up in the heady euphoria of a steamy love affair.

The proceedings aren't overly explicit. That said, it's no mystery what Rozes is singing about when she begins with this confession: "Taking it slow, but it's not typical/He already knows that my love is a fire." The next lines suggest physical intimacy came before the emotional variety: "His heart was a stone, but then his hands roam/I turned him to gold and it took him higher."

And now?

Well, that carnal connection has given way to an even more intoxicating romance. In fact, intoxication is exactly how this song describes what the good life consists of. "Oh, I'll be your daydream," Rozes gushes to her beau before adding a bit later, "Get drunk on the good life, I'll take you to paradise."

Metaphorical inebriation is soon paired with the literal variety, as Rozes anticipates getting high while watching a movie and cuddling with her guy. "We could waste the night away with an old film/Smoke a little weed on the couch in the back room."

Headed for the Door Already?

For all that emoting and longing, however, it's not exactly clear that Rozes' man in this song is in quite the same place. Oh, sure, she thinks she's converted his heart to "gold." But if that were really the case, why would she repeat this line a dozen times: "Say you'll never let me go."

After giving everything to this formerly stone-hearted man who swept her off her feet (and obviously into bed, too), there's more than a little bit of insecurity gnawing at the edges of her consciousness. Indeed, she's practically begging him to make a vow of faithful commitment.

She's ready, but he may not be. And suddenly she's aware of just how vulnerable she really is, something it might have been wiser to consider before unconditionally giving herself away, body and soul.

The official video plays upon this idea, showing us images of a kissing, canoodling couple who are clearly lovers. (We also see images of a ballet dancer intercut between scenes, simultaneously representing, perhaps, the woman's beauty and her vulnerability.) But when he leaves one morning while she's still sleeping, doubt and anxiety are written on the woman's face when she awakens to find herself alone. The man does eventually return, however, giving the video a "happy" ending of sorts.

Still, I suspect there are plenty of women out there in the real world who've found out the hard way that following the ostensibly romantic script that The Chainsmokers give us here leads to anything but roses.

A postscript: A second video for the song features images of Taggart and Paul on tour around the world: onstage, in hotel rooms, surfing, in cities. Their antics are mostly innocuous, with the exception of one of the guys patting the crotch of a bikini-clad woman he's surfing with.

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