Don’t be deceived by the seemingly sweet and affirming title of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”: the “love” has a very clear, not-so-sweet double entendre. Now Halsey, the artist who lent her vocal talents on another Purpose track, “The Feeling,” has covered the song, with a few virtuosic flourishes. Most notably, her chorus is a little more direct: She went with “Fuck yourself.”
The cover has a gentle, smoky timbre, which makes the lyric change stand out even more. Halsey’s lyrics generally tend to be graphic and direct. (Sample: Her song “Strange Love” begins with a very blunt reference to sex on the bathroom sink.) And for those of us who have always thought “love yourself” sounds like a lame radio edit of what Bieber probably meant to say, this amendment was long overdue.