If you’re a fan of well-crafted, anthemic pop ballads then Justin Jesso’s new single “Too Good To Lose” is definitely for you.
Jesso stepped into the artist role in 2017 when he was featured on the hit song “Stargazing” which he co-wrote with Kygo. Before this, Jesso co-wrote Ricky Martin’s chart-topping “Vente Pa’ Ca’”, which earned the two of them a Lattin Grammy nomination, and Jesso worked with the likes of Backstreet Boys, Armin Van Buurn, and Alle Farben among others.
His latest single “Too Good To Lose” is another very well written pop offering, which showcases his vocal range beautifully. The song starts off with Jesso singing a half chorus over a piano track. His soaring vocal range and the effortless control he has over his voice are noticeable immediately. Technique wise, you can tell that Jesso is very comfortable as a singer and knows how to rev his vocal engine just enough to take his tone from clean to a more emotionally charged rasp, enhancing the overall story he is telling.
I also appreciated that the emotional peaks and valleys in the song are enhanced within the arraignment as well. The verses in “Too Good To Lose” take on a very minimalistic approach with the use of snaps and light rhythmic parts. This contrasts really nicely with the soaring choruses and middle 8, adding different emotional layers to the song. Jesso also does a beautiful job of adding urgency into the verses by changing the rhythmic structure and adding more words in a shorter amount of time then he does in the choruses. This is a really great way of mirroring the emotional tension in the lyrics and building towards the second chorus.
When that second full Chorus hits, it hits hard! The track builds beautifully into the drop right at the top of Chorus 2 really emphasizing that the listener has reached the emotional heart of the story being told. When asked about the inspiration behind the song, Jesso had the following to say.
“‘Too Good To Lose’ is about knowing that you’re being unfair to someone, but loving them so much you can’t let go. I realised I wasn’t a good match for my significant other. I was away all the time travelling, wrapped up in my work and stubborn. I realised I should let this person go so they can find happiness somewhere else, but I couldn’t do it. It’s also about being able to accept yourself and your partner for who you both are. We all have things about ourselves we wish we could change for the person we love.”
After reading Jesso’s explanation and going back through the lyrics of the song, I have to commend him for being so open and vulnerable with his storytelling.
I may not want to be with you
And you want to be with me
But I know that I should leave you alone
I may not want to be with you
But no matter what I do
I’ll be selfish before I let you know
When that final chorus comes in, the track falls away to Jesso’s vocals over a very quiet synth bed. This is the moment where the story very explicitly becomes the focus for the listener and the arrangement really enhances the emotional sentiment in the lyrics.
I also found the end of the song really interesting, because there really isn’t a resolution for the story. Jesso leaves the listener with, “No I’ll never say cause you’re too good to lose”, admitting that the story ends in the same place it started at the beginning of the song.
Overall, I think this song is brilliantly done. The track is well arranged, well put together, and easily fits within the modern pop vernacular. Jesso definitely shows his aptitude for writing catchy melodies and hooks, and I have to once again applaud his vulnerability and honesty with the story he chose to tell. It’s the songs that come from the heart that more easily touch the hearts of others.