Bellah Mae’s new song “Compatible” comes with a severe case of “I’m sorry if you can relate.” In the song, Mae describes a marriage that works but isn’t magical. You know, the love that falls short of the kind of love we spend our lives dreaming of. Only this time, you’ve gotten something that’s good, but not perfect.
“Might be the only guy / Who didn’t send me hearted eyes in reply to my latest story,” Mae sings in the opening verse, introducing us to the nature of the relationship and why it’s no longer exciting. “In red lace lingerie I kiss you, but you shy away / Then roll to get your eight hours of sleep in / But you will never leave me ’cause to you we’re more than fine and I’m ticking all your boxes, oh, I play such a good wife.”
To her man, their marriage is more than just okay because they neither argue nor fight, but Mae knows that the fiery flames of love have all but cooled down. In the chorus, she tells us that staying in the marriage means that she’s living life half-hearted when truly she wants “fireworks and flames” as opposed to the “safe, tame, practical” relationship they have. At the end of the day, Mae notes they’re “just compatible.”
I think this is one aspect of our society we don’t often see explored in songs. It’s mostly either about a relationship that’s too good to be true or so bad it’s veering into the realm of “toxicity.” But “Compatible” presents a balance: the relationship is good, but that’s just it. In this scenario, it’s easy to feel trapped because you can’t give yourself a strong enough reason to call it quits.
“Wish you would go do something I cannot forgive you for / Go sleep with my best friend, tell the police I broke the law / I need good enough to get up and out the door,” Mae sings in the bridge.
The storytelling aspect of this song is remarkable, perhaps that’s why Mae decided to film the lyric video at a cinema. It’s especially nice to see that side of love explored, where you really don’t have a reason to leave except for the fact that you’re a romantic and your partner isn’t delivering.
Mae teased the song on Instagram with different snippets derived from different parts of it. “Compatible” will appear on her upcoming EP Never Waste A Heartbreak.