It’s hard to live up to a smash hit like “Tonight Tonight” but I’ve gotta say that it was genius of Hot Chelle Rae to release their new single “Don’t Say Goodnight” around the time of that one holiday that commercializes love like it’s The Olympics. Although they’ve kept themselves pretty low key (probably because bassist Ian Keaggy left the band for personal reasons), this single might have been the fresh start these Nashville, Tennessee natives needed.
The music of “Don’t Say Goodnight” sounds like if Tinie Tempah‘s “Written In the Stars (feat. Eric Turner)” was a love song because of its blend of piano and stylized pop beats that really pick up at the chorus. Its instrumentation is relatively simple but it succeeds to be entertaining because it complements lead singer Ryan Follese’s semi-high-pitched-yet-still-kinda-charming voice extremely well.
What really stands out about this track is its lyrics because have classic Hot Chelle Rae charm with all the boy band cuteness of One Direction and a smidgen of Parachute‘s ability to make you swoon. While it has its meh lines like “two girls on my lap super packed in” and “super drunk still sayin’ that we’re just buzzed” that somewhat ruin the song if you were looking for something cute to play for your lover, in a way it sort of works for the subject matter. Follese reveals everything that someone in denial about their feelings for someone may be going through. He hides behind a player persona because he doesn’t want to admit that maybe he too wants to be getting paired up at last call and staying up “’til tomorrow paints the sun across the night.” There’s also the idea that he might be pining after an employee with the line “in her work uniform but she’s still bad” and that he just wants to steal her away to “kick back let the universe align.”
“Don’t Say Goodnight” is a little less peppy than their past hits but it’s still catchy nonetheless. It embodies the fun, frat boy style they’ve based themselves on while also proving that they have a sensitive side. It’s the perfect track for a guy who thinks showing his feelings for a girl is completely unmanly and for the girl who wants to swoon over that same guy (or just Follese). Its simple lyrics give everyone a chance to sing along and the music is so cutesy that it’s hard for love to not form in our eyes because of it. Soak it up lovers! This one’s got the makings of a great staple for future V-Day playlists.