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"First Time" is a song by American alternative band Lifehouse and it is the first single released from their fourth studio album, Who We Are (2007). The song was written by lead singer Jason Wade alongside Jude Cole, who produced the song. Wade felt it was urgent to write the track and said that he had to think deep to write it. Musically, "First Time" is a power pop song that contains alternative rock with a theme about the early stages of romance. The track was first released as a digital download on May 7, 2007, by Geffen Records. It was then solicited to mainstream radio on May 15, 2007.

"First Time"
Lifehouse firsttime.jpg
Single by Lifehouse
from the album Who We Are
ReleasedMay 7, 2007
FormatCD single, digital download
GenrePower pop, alternative rock
Songwriter(s)Jason Wade, Jude Cole
Producer(s)Jude Cole
Lifehouse singles chronology
"First Time"
"Whatever It Takes"

The song received positive reviews from critics who compared it to Lifehouse's "Hanging by a Moment". It charted at number 26 and number 47 respectively in the United States and Canada, and later charted in New Zealand at number 31. The song's music video premiered on and The N on June 29, 2007. It features clips of real couples falling in love for the first time. Lifehouse has performed the song live on late-night national television shows.


Background and releaseEdit

The song was written by Lifehouse lead singer Jason Wade and American record producer Jude Cole, who also produced the song.[1][2] When asked about writing "First Time", Wade said, "It just felt urgent, like a first kiss, a first love. Like the first time you realize there's more to that relationship than you thought. I had to dig a little for that one, but I find myself at a place where I can write stuff that’s a little deeper than your average love song in terms of emotion."[3] In September 2006, Lifehouse started writing songs in the studio for Who We Are, and recorded most of the songs the day they were written at Coles' Ironworks Studios in Los Angeles.[4][5] Wade explained the process of recording the songs, and said, "There was something amazing in just diving right into capturing the moment without even creating a demo first." He further noted how he appreciated recording songs with many takes to capture the initial thought of a song.[4] The track was released via digital download on May 7, 2007, by Geffen Records.[3] It was then solicited to mainstream radio on May 15, 2007.[6]


"This time around it was about not having any preconceived notions. It was about letting the tape machine roll and getting the music down spontaneously. I'm at a place where it doesn't matter to me what other people think. I'm comfortable being myself. I'm writing from an honest place, not thinking about who's going to hear it, what they’re going to think or how they're going to interpret it. The lyrics can’t be contrived. They have to hit you right in the heart."

—Wade taking about his experience on writing songs for Who We Are.[7]

"First Time" is a power pop song that contains alternative rock and pop punk influences.[9] It was described as a "radio-friendly number with hooks aplenty" by Alex Lai of[10] John DiBiase of Jesus Freak Hideout described the song as "an upbeat love song", and further described it as "sort of a 'Hanging by a Moment' meets 'Spin' with more of a distinct romantic angle like 'You and Me.'"[8] Billboard described the song as a "melodic ember-turner, balancing polished instrumentation and a crystal-clear hook against lead Jason Wade's sandy vocals."[11] Sputnikmusic described the song as "a very quick paced song with a catchy rhythm that can compete with 'Hanging by a Moment' but just can't quite beat it."[12] Steve Morley of described the song as a "propulsive pop-rocker" that he said "move[d] beyond typical love song clichés."[13] The song is set in common time with a tempo of 126 beats per minute.[14] It is composed in the key of E major, and Wade's vocal range spans from the low-note of E4 to the high-note of B5.[14] The song has a basic chord progression of A2–Bsus–Cm7–B/D–E5.[14]

The theme of "First Time" is about the early stages of romance and specifically takes a look back at the butterflies and excitement of the initial rush of romance.[7][15] The lyrics "Looking at you / Holding my breath / For once in my life / I'm scared to death / I'm taking a chance / Letting you inside" refer to how mature love requires vulnerability, sacrifice and effort, which is a responsibility that distinguishes serious commitment from youthful romantic discovery.[13]

Chart performanceEdit

"First Time" debuted at number 83 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16] It moved around the chart for several months and eventually peaked at number 26.[17] The song debuted at number 39 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart.[16] It peaked at number 16 after being on the chart for 20 consecutive weeks.[18] On the Billboard Radio Songs chart, the song debuted at number 71.[16] It eventually peaked at number 36 on the chart.[19] On the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, it debuted at number 29 and eventually peaked at number 17 after being on the chart for 20 non-consecutive weeks.[16] The song also charted on Billboard's Digital Songs chart and peaked at number 23.[16]

"First Time" also charted internationally. It debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number 79.[16] It stayed on the chart for 16 consecutive weeks until peaking at number 47 on the chart.[20] It debuted on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 31 for the week of July 30, 2007.[21] That later became its peak after it spent seven consecutive weeks on the chart.[22]

Music videoEdit

The changing vibrant color occurs in the background as the intensity of song grows.

The music video premiered on and The N on June 29, 2007.[23] It was also released on iTunes that same day.[9] The music video, directed by Sean Mullins, was shot in Los Angeles and features real couples falling in love for the first time.[23][24]

It begins with a shot of the band in a white room wearing all white clothes and playing all white instruments. As the energy of the song gets stronger, the white room and the band's clothing changes from white to a ruby red. According to Monsters and Critics, the vibrant colors in the music video show how passion explodes inside of people when they are in love for the first time. One couple gets tattoos for the first time, while another guy is seen teaching his girlfriend how to skateboard. After that, another couple is seen falling in love on a beach and a real life husband and wife embrace after the husband returns from the military.[23]


In January 2008, Lifehouse performed the song as part of a set list on the PBS show Soundstage.[25] The band then made an appearance at the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl halftime show on February 10, 2008, and performed "Hanging by a Moment" and "First Time".[26] Lifehouse has also performed "First Time" on Live Sets,[27] Last Call with Carson Daly,[28] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[29] The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[30] and Live with Regis and Kelly.[31]

Credits and personnelEdit

Adapted from Allmusic.[32]



  1. ^ First Time at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  2. ^ "Lifehouse's – Who We Are (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  3. ^ a b "Lifehouse's 1st Single – "First Time" on iTunes". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  4. ^ a b "Singer/Writer Jason Wade of Lifehouse Talks About The Band's Album Who We Are, And Hit "First Time"". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  5. ^ "Lifehouse Returns To Rock On 'Who We Are'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  6. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and More!". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Inc. and Mediaspan Online Services. Archived from the original on 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  7. ^ a b "Lifehouse Biography". Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  8. ^ a b "Lifehouse, "Who We Are" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  9. ^ a b "First Time by Lifehouse". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  10. ^ "Lifehouse - Who We Are Album Review". Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  11. ^ "The Billboard Reviews: Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  12. ^ "Lifehouse – Who We Are (album review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  13. ^ a b "Lifehouse: Who We Are –". United Methodist Communications. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  14. ^ a b c "Lifehouse – First Time Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  15. ^ "Who We Are, Christian Music Reviews". Salem Web Network. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "First Time – Lifehouse". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  17. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  18. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  19. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  20. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  21. ^ " - New Zealand Charts portal - 07/30/2007". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  22. ^ " - Lifehouse - First Time". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  23. ^ a b c "Lifehouse releases video for new single "First Time" – Monsters and Critics". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  24. ^ ""First Time" by Lifehouse". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  25. ^ "Soundstage . Lifehouse . Setlist". PBS. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  26. ^ "Pro Bowl Performance This Sunday 2/10!". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  27. ^ "Nissan Live Sets: Lifehouse". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  28. ^ "Lifehouse : News: Watch Lifehouse LIVE at Last Call with Carson Daly in Burbank". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  29. ^ "Lifehouse : News: Lifehouse Performing on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  30. ^ "Lifehouse On Jay Leno 2/15!". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  31. ^ "Lifehouse On Live With Regis & Kelly April 1st!". Geffen Records. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  32. ^ First Time at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  33. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  34. ^ " – Lifehouse – First Time". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  35. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  36. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  37. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  38. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-06-26.

External linksEdit