Ariana Grande dropped her new song “Boyfriend” last night, a collaboration with the hip-hop duo Social House, the current opener on her Sweetener tour. The coordinating video depicts Grande and Social House’s Mike “Mikey” Foster in an almost-relationship, flirting with other people at a party while fantasizing about taking out the distractions from their intended’s affections by arrow, roundhouse kick, or laserized hearts. The lyrics taunt, “You ain’t my boyfriend/and I ain’t your girlfriend/but you don’t want me to see nobody else/ and I don’t want you to see nobody else,” implying that these two are definitely boyfriend and girlfriend, whether they want to admit or not.
The song starts out promisingly with some kind of backwards accordion sounds, and Foster and his bandmate Charles “Scootie” Anderson provide an intriguing dynamic to play against Grande’s vocals. But the song never really kicks into gear beyond that, sounding like someone put “Thank U, Next” and “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” in a blender. Of course, if you’re a huge fan of those hits, then maybe that isn’t such a bad thing.