Meant To Be

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Kristin Smith

Album Review

Florida Georgia Line is back—but not in the way you might think. This popular country duo has splashed across genre lines again, this time making waves with up-and-coming singer Bebe Rexha. Together, this trio is on a mission to reimagine the classic country formula on Rexha’s latest hit, “Meant to Be.”

Rexha may be new to country, but she’s no amateur in the music world. Previously, she collaborated with Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz, recording an experimental project with a group known as Black Cards. That stint only lasted a couple of years before Rexha veered out on her own, signing with Warner Bros. Records to produce her first two solo EPs, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up and All Your Fault: Pt. 1. Now she’s back with the debut single from her third EP, All Your Fault: Pt. 2.

In an interview with Billboard she admitted to being “incredibly nervous about her first foray into the [country] genre.” She said that she had held “misconceived perceptions about the lyrics and writing style of country artists.”

But all it took was a sit-down with the members of Florida Georgia Line to throw those “misconceived perceptions” out the window. Together, they’ve crafted a song that boasts a carefree feel, one that beckons listeners to “kick back and relax while understanding that it’ll all work out if it’s “Meant To Be.”

Just…Let It Be

The song begins with a back-and-forth dialogue of sorts between Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rehxa. The country veterans get things started here, inviting Rexha to “lay on back and relax,” with her “pretty feet” on the dash, and just to “enjoy right …where we at.” Reassuring lyrics promise her that “as long as you’re right here next to me, everything’s gonna be alright.”

But an unsure Rexha isn’t used to letting herself relax and be vulnerable, because she’s been “hurt a couple times by a couple guys that didn’t treat me right.” She says she’s “tired of the fake love” and wants someone to “show me what you’re made of” before she can really let her emotional guard down.

And as they ride along together, the song’s couple comes to an understanding of sorts: “Maybe we do/Maybe we don’t/Maybe we will/Maybe we won’t.” But, the song insists, either way all they have to do is take it easy and give their relationship space to see “if it’s meant to be.”

Meanwhile, in the Middle of Nowhere …

As for the space Bebe Rexha finds herself occupying at the outset of this song’s video, it might best be described as the middle of nowhere. She’s walking along a dusty road, clad in sparkling boots, a revealing plaid corset, a similarly plaid flannel that only occasionally covers her up a bit. She’s lugging two garbage bags. (Talk about baggage!) Wherever she’s going, she’s gonna get their by hitchhiking.

After flagging down a red Dodge Ram (and lying down in the bed of the truck, hair flowing in the wind, sporting a “Bebe” necklace and some serious cleavage), she only gets so far before she must hitchhike once again to a motel that is, conveniently, looking for help. (Hitchhiking is obviously idealized here, instead of being revealed as a reckless, illegal way to travel.)

Rexha’s drifter character soon lands a job as a waitress there (sporting still more cleavage). But as she serves the regulars, she daydreams about escaping her mundane life. In a dream sequence of sorts (she seems to nod off briefly with her head on the counter during a quiet moment), she imagines performing in a karaoke contest with Florida Georgia Line. The band ushers her to the stage, where she joins in seamlessly. That performance morphs into a show on an even bigger stage, where cheering fans show their appreciation for the trio. (And where Rexha wears yet another plunging top.)

All of a sudden, a noise jars Rexha from her reverie. The weary waitress realizes her life has yet to change, and she mouths a silent-but-obvious f-word in response to conclude the video.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

“I’ve recently been going through heartbreak, and I listen to the song, and it makes me feel better and like there’s some type of destiny and if something doesn’t work out then, there’s something better waiting for you.”

So said Rexha in her interview with Billboard. And she’s right: The song does create a happy-go-lucky vibe that entices listeners to relax and believe that it’ll all work out one way or another.

In some ways, that worry-free advice might be pretty good. After all, even Jesus admonished us not to worry. And those of us who tend to stress out about every little detail could probably stand to take Rexha’s advice more often.

On the other hand, this life philosophy could also morph into a flippant disregard for commitment if we’re not careful. So while certain seasons consist of waiting to see “if it’s meant to be,” in other moments, it may be time to get off the fence.

Kristen Smith
Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, loving raising their little guy, Judah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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