If Only (Dove Cameron song)

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"If Only"
Dove Cameron - If Only.jpg
Single by Dove Cameron
from the album Descendants
ReleasedJuly 31, 2015 (2015-07-31)
FormatDigital download
GenrePop, bubblegum pop
LabelWalt Disney
Dove Cameron singles chronology
"If Only"
"Ways to Be Wicked"
"If Only"
"Ways to Be Wicked"
Descendants singles chronology
"If Only"
"Rotten to the Core"

"If Only" is a song performed by American recording artist Dove Cameron from Disney Channel's 2015 television film Descendants, whose music and lyrics were composed by Adam Anders, Nikki Hassman and Peer Astrom. The song debuted at number 99 in the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at 94.[1] The song was included in the film soundtrack with the same title.


A midtempo slow-jam pop song, "If Only" exhibits elements of ballad and bubblegum pop.[2] Multi-tracked harmonies, the song's instrumentation includes slow-bouncing piano tones and keyboard.[3] The song was written by Adam Anders, Nikki Hassman and Peer Astrom and produced by the duo Twin.[4] The critics of Fictively noted that part of the song is an internal monologue, meant to be fluid in the story.[5] Lyrically, the song talks about an internal conflict over a love interest ("Should I let my heart keep listenin'? / Which way should I go?").[6]

Chart performance[edit]

On August 11, 2015, "If Only" debuted at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1]Then it jumped 5 spots on the chart and peaking at number 94 in its second week before falling of the chart the following week. [7] On August 22, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Kid Digital Songs.[8] Internationally, the song reached number 186 in France.[9]

Live performances[edit]

On August 17, 2015, Cameron performed the song at D23 Expo.[10] On August 28, she and Ryan McCartan released an acoustic live video of the song as The Girl and the Dreamcatcher, their band.[11] On October 19, she also performed the song at Downtown Disney during the Descendants Fan Event.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

"If Only" has been compared to the soundtracks of Hercules and High School Musical 2.

The song has received positive reviews from music critics. Daynah of Disney Geek He commented that "If Only" is sweet, filled with emotions and "one of the best songs on the album".[3] Marshal Knight of Laughing Place was positive and compared the Cameron's song to "Gotta Go My Own Way", by Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron from High School Musical 2 (2007) and "the good times" of The Cheetah Girls film series, saying "her voice really breaks through and shows emotion, while also belting her face off".[13] Gary Wright of Rotoscopes said that "If Only" is the best of the album in terms of angst and emotion and one of the best works from Disney Channel Original Movies.[2] He also compares the song to "Part of Your World", by Jodi Benson from The Little Mermaid (1989), and "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)", by Susan Egan and Cheryl Freeman from Hercules (1997).[2]

Shirley Li of Entertainment Weekly said that although Descendants is far from perfect, "If Only" is worth it.[14] The critic of Fictively was positive, saying that the song is the best on the album and comparing Cameron's voice to the American singer Jewel.[15] JS Magazine said the song is "amazing" and the best along with "Rotten to the Core".[16]

Music video[edit]

The video was directed by Kenny Ortega and released on July 31, 2015.[17] In the video, taken from a film scene, Cameron sings in a forest clearing.[15]

Track listings[edit]

  • Digital download[18]
  1. "If Only" – 3:49
  2. "If Only (Reprise)" – 0:41


Chart (2015) Peak
France (SNEP)[19] 186
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard)[8] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 94

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
France[18] July 31, 2015 Digital download Walt Disney


  1. ^ a b "Hot 100: Descendants' "Rotten to the Core" Debuts in Top 40; "If Only" Starts at #99". Billboard. 2012-09-08. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Disney's 'Descendants': Rotten to the Core". Rotoscopers. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Disney Descendants Soundtrack (Daynah's Thoughts)". Disney Geek. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Descendants Original TV Movie Soundtrack at AllMusic
  5. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Get the Scoop on the Original Songs From Disney's 'Descendants'". Yahoo!. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Performed by Dove Cameron". Oh My Disney. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100 - August 22, 2015". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Billboard (Kid Digital Songs) - August 22, 2015". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  9. ^ "DOVE CAMERON - IF ONLY (CHANSON)". SNEP. 2012-09-08. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "Dove Cameron "If Only" from "Descendants" live at D23 Expo- FRONT ROW". Noviant Indah. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Dove Cameron e Ryan McCartan fazem versão acústica de "If Only", de "Descendentes"". Febre Teen. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Dove Cameron Singing her song "IF Only" LIVE at Downtown Disney #DescendantsFanEvent #Descendants on YouTube
  13. ^ "Album Review: Disney Descendants". Laughing Place. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Descendants react: Did the tale about junior villains cast a spell?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Movie Review: Disney's Descendants". Fictively. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  16. ^ "10 reasons to loves Disney's Descendants". Julia Silva. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "If Only (From "Descendants") (Official Video)". VEVO. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Dove Cameron - If Only". Discogs. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Dove Cameron – {{{song}}}" (in French). Les classement single.