"Expectations" is the debut solo single by American singer and songwriter Lauren Jauregui, released on October 24, 2018. It is a guitar-driven R&B song written by Jauregui and produced by Kid Harpoon, about an unresponsive relationship and the assumptions that people have and try to change about them. Jauregui first performed the track in June 2018, as the opening act for Halsey's Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour in Latin America. "Expectations" received positive reviews from critics who praised Harpoon's production and Jauregui's musicianship. The song's black-and-white music video was creatively directed and co-edited by Jauregui, and portrays two opposing facets of the artist.

Single by Lauren Jauregui
ReleasedOctober 24, 2018 (2018-10-24)
RecordedMay 2018
Songwriter(s)Lauren Jauregui
Producer(s)Kid Harpoon
Lauren Jauregui singles chronology
"All Night"
"More Than That"
Music video
"Expectations" on YouTube

Background edit

"Expectations" is one of the first songs Jauregui wrote while she was in a process of self-exploration and re-evaluation post Fifth Harmony's disbandment.[2][3][4] She premiered the track in June 2018 in São Paulo, Brazil, along with two other songs she wrote, as the opening act for Halsey's Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour in Latin America.[2][5] Jauregui said the fans' passionate response to the song when she performed it inspired her to release it.[2] Jauregui later said that she was "putting the final touches" to the song. She gave fans a brief preview of her upcoming single on October 1, 2018 with an 18-second snippet of its video.[6] She said of "Expectations" as her debut solo song: "Just the context of it and the mood of it, I feel like is a really great introduction to the world that I'm about to give people."[4]

Composition edit

Composed in a compound time signature, "Expectations" is a guitar-driven, slow-burning, soulful R&B song.[11] Lyrically, "Expectations" finds Jauregui depicting a relationship state in which her partner does not appear to be responsive.[12] It expresses vulnerable assumptions and the struggle of wanting to change the situation.[7][13] Jauregui said that the record is an "exploration of when you’re in a relationship with someone and you don’t want to have expectations. But they kind of get in the way, regardless".[7] She wrote the song after experiencing something that made her "upset". She went in the studio the following the day and wrote it in about 30 minutes.[4] She also produced the vocals.[14] Jauregui played with double meaning for the single, simultaneously alluding to expectations on her output post-Fifth Harmony.[15]

Billboard editor Gil Kaufman said that in the slow and sultry song, Jauregui's vocals rise into an "urgent moan" on the "pleading" chorus, and the track's "smoky, late night" mood is amplified by its "ripping" blues guitar solo.[7] Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos described the record as "slow burning".[8] The song has "atmospheric strings and sensual beat", and builds up to an "electrifying" guitar solo, wrote Idolator.[12] Paris Close of iHeartRadio described it as a "pensive number" in which Jauregui "purrs with hope on the bluesy chorus".[13] Harper's Bazaar's Erica Gonzales considered "Expectations" a "sultry, stripped down" bluesy guitar record.[16]

Critical reception edit

Idolator praised the record's instrumentation and "slinky" production, considering the song a "bold moment that is bound to put Jauregui on the right path" as she sounds "utterly at ease and highlights her compelling vocals", delivering "heaps" of personality.[12] Time wrote that Jauregui "makes a soulful statement" in an "R&B mixed with rock 'n' roll" song "that swings and sashays at Jauregui’s deliciously languorous pace" while her lyrical delivery has "plenty of punch".[17] Newsweek called it a "sultry and honest" debut single.[18] Earmilk regarded the song as a proclamation of Jauregui's "ability to stand on her own as both a singer and a songwriter".[19] MTV said the "smoky" song showcases Jauregui's "powerful pipes and marks a clear departure from Fifth Harmony's airy pop material".[4] BBC described the song as "fierce-yet-vulnerable".[2] Harper's Bazaar called the song a "sultry, stripped down departure" and "a strong introduction to Jauregui's next chapter."[16] Stereogum deemed it a "masterclass in tension and release".[20] Uproxx called "Expectations" an "impressive" solo debut in which Jauregui "sounds completely at home" and "more confident and comfortable than ever on her own".[21]

Music video edit

In the preview of the music video, the background features a moody black-and-white clip of Jauregui slowly walking down a dimly lit hall and standing on a bridge as a muffled snippet of the song plays in the background.[6][22] Creatively directed and co-edited by the artist, the video was released on October 24, 2018 with Jauregui portraying two sides of herself.[3][4][7] Jauregui said of her concept for the video: "I wanted to focus in on the duality of existence. The more naïve, young, innocent self, and then the more dominant, sensual, violent self, because they both exist in me, and so they were exploring each other […] and that happened".[23] Billboard said the "moody" music video is a "heartbreaker".[7] Uproxx described the video as "striking" and "setting high expectations for what's to come from Jauregui."[21] MTV wrote that it is a "stunningly sinister visual" that makes a similarly "strong statement" as the song.[4]

Live performance edit

On May 6, 2019, Jauregui performed the song live on The Late Late Show with James Corden.[24]

Charts edit

Chart (2018–2019) Peak
Czech Republic (Rádio – Top 100)[25] 9
Greece International Digital Singles (IFPI)[26] 60
Scotland (OCC)[27] 62
UK Download (Official Charts Company)[28] 94
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[29] 48

References edit

  1. ^ "Expectations - Single by Lauren Jauregui". iTunes.
  2. ^ a b c d Savage, Mark (January 18, 2019). "Lauren Jauregui: 'The music industry clouds your soul'". BBC. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Lauren Jauregui - 'Expectations' Music Video". Coup De Main. October 25, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Lauren Jauregui Faces Her Evil Twin In Sultry 'Expectations' Video". MTV. October 24, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Jones, Abby (June 7, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui Debuts Three New Solo Songs at Halsey's Show in Brazil: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (October 2, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui Announces Debut Solo Single 'Expectations'". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Kaufman, Gil (October 24, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui Drops Seductive Debut Solo Single 'Expectations': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Spanos, Brittany (October 24, 2018). "Watch Lauren Jauregui's Sultry Video for Debut Solo Song 'Expectations'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Lockett, Dee (October 24, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui Is Your Latest Fifth Harmony Member to Fly Solo". Vulture. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "A cutthroat Lauren Jauregui has "Expectations" for her first solo single". ABC News Radio. October 24, 2018. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  11. ^ [7][8][9][10]
  12. ^ a b c Nied, Mike (October 24, 2018). "The Wait Is Over! Lauren Jauregui Makes Her Solo Debut With "Expectations"". Idolator. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Lauren Jauregui Sings Through Neglect On New Song 'Expectations': Listen". iHeartMedia. October 24, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "Lauren Jauregui 'Growing Up': How Her Grandma Encouraged Her Life-Changing 'X Factor' Audition". Billboard. September 24, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "Lauren Jauregui Talks Solo Career: 'I Can't Create When I Feel Stifled'". Rolling Stone. October 24, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Lauren Jauregui Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her "Expectations" Video Shoot". Harper's Bazaar. October 24, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Bruner, Raisa. "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week". Time. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  18. ^ Jackson, Dory (November 12, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui Says She's In 'Self-Discovery Mode' Post-Fifth Harmony Ahead Of Debut Album". Newsweek. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Paul, Larisha (January 13, 2019). "Lauren Jauregui sets the bar high on "More Than That"". Earmilk. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Top 40 Pop Songs Of 2018". Stereogum. December 13, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Gilke, Chloe (October 24, 2018). "Lauren Jauregui's Fantastic Debut Solo Single Exceeds 'Expectations'". Uproxx. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "Lauren Jauregui Announces Debut Solo Single, What Are Your 'Expectations'?". KNIN-FM. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "Lauren Jauregui on Her Creative Direction For "Expectations" Video". Music Choice. December 12, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2019 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ Legaspi, Althea (May 7, 2019). "Lauren Jauregui Delivers 'Gritty' Expectations on 'Corden'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  25. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 201924 into search. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  26. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Digital Singles Chart (International) – Week: 43/2018". IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on October 29, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  29. ^ "Lauren Jauregui Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.