With songs like “How Do I Say Goodbye,” “Waves,” and “Be Alright” in his growing catalog, Dean Lewis has more than proven he has the emotional bandwidth to write a good ballad with messages of hope and strength within the lyrics. “Be Alright,” his breakout single from back in 2019, currently sits at one and a half billion streams and perfectly reflects this narrative: “It’s never easy to walk away / Let her go/It’ll be ok.”
For his newest release “In A Perfect World,” he teamed up with pop songstress Julia Michaels. The midtempo acoustic-pop duet is everything you’d expect from the pair and is one of Lewis’ most inspired performances yet.
After dominating the late 2010s with solo hits like the Grammy-nominated “Issues” and “If The World Was Ending” with JP Saxe as well as writing credits on tracks like “Good For You” by Selena Gomez and “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, Michaels could have called it a career. Instead, as of recently, every so often she pops up, delivers a standout verse on a duet, and slides back into the shadows.
Earlier this year, she appeared on the NF track “GONE,” delivering one of the most impactful guest verses in recent memory: “Yeah, I could blame us breaking up on being too young and being too dumb and being too caught up on past dramas / But the truth is we just weren’t right / We planned our whole life when we both knew we should have just ended on the first night.”
She does it again on the new track, effortlessly showing off her casual yet eloquent style of freewriting: “Yeah, at least you’re self-aware / I’ll give you some credit / But walking out on something perfect’s really stupid, yeah / Baby, I said it/You’re so scared of regretting something before you can even regret it.”
Lewis holds his own here as well, vocally matching Michaels while singing in tandem, and digging deeper lyrically than he has in some time: “When you ask me if I love you / I say I do / I’m not running from my problems and I’m not running from you.” The pair have solid emotional chemistry, with Lewis fighting to keep himself, and the relationship, afloat while Michaels provides tough love from an understanding point-of-view.
Lewis gushed over his duet partner on IG, saying, “It was an unbelievable experience to write this song with one of the best songwriters and artists in the world.” At this point in her career, Michaels is a unicorn, writing what she wants, how she wants, and when she wants.