Ugly Heart

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"Ugly Heart"
Ugly Heart by GRL.png
Single by G.R.L.
from the album G.R.L.
ReleasedJune 3, 2014 (2014-06-03)
FormatDigital download
GenrePop
Length3:19
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
G.R.L. singles chronology
"Wild Wild Love"
(2014)
"Ugly Heart"
(2014)
"Lighthouse"
(2015)
Music video
"Ugly Heart" on YouTube

"Ugly Heart" is the second single by American-British-Canadian girl group G.R.L. from their self-titled EP. The song features songwriting credits from Ryan Baharloo, Ester Dean, Lukasz Gottwald, John Charles Monds and Henry Walter, with production credits from Gottwald and Walter under their production monikers, Dr. Luke and Cirkut. The song was released on June 3, 2014 as the lead single from the EP. "Ugly Heart" is a guitar-driven pop song that also incorporates a ukulele.

The track centers on a man who initially appears beautiful on the outside, but later displays his ugly side. The group thought a lot of women would be able to relate to the song and hoped it would inspire them to find someone who would treat them well. The song was met with general acclaim from critics. The song's accompanying music video was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero. It depicts the girls being arrested by the police, after they tattoo the word "ugly" on a man's face. It was watched 2.5 million times in less than a week following its release.

"Ugly Heart" was the last single to be released by the group before band member Simone Battle's death on September 5, 2014.[1]

The song received renewed interest in October 2016 when British girl group Little Mix released their latest single "Shout Out to My Ex," from their fourth studio album Glory Days. Some people said that the choruses of the two songs had similarities.[2][3]

Background and release[edit]

Group member Paula Van Oppen explained that "Ugly Heart" was about ending a relationship with a guy who initially appeared to be nice on the outside, but once you got to know him well, the ugly side to his personality came out.[4] Van Oppen said the inspiration for the song "was giving that message of strength and confidence and being a good person, inside and out. Not just having the exterior surface be all that you are."[4] Natasha Slayton hoped the track would inspire people to date someone who treated them well, instead of dating someone because of their beauty.[5] Simone Battle commented that the track felt personal to her, as it reminded her of a time when she had crush on a guy in high school, who pretended to like her back and embarrassed her.[4] Battle also thought there would be a lot of women who could relate to the song.[4] While Van Oppen added that the group's songs were empowering.[4]

The song leaked in March 2014, before it was officially released on June 3, 2014.[6] It was sent to mainstream radio on June 24, 2014.[7][7] The single's artwork was unveiled the day before the single was released.[8]

Composition[edit]

"Ugly Heart" was written by Ryan Baharloo, Ester Dean, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, John Charles Monds and Henry "Cirkut" Walter.[9] It was produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut, with Max Martin as executive producer.[10] "Ugly Heart" is a guitar-driven pop song, with electronic influences.[11] The song also makes use of a ukulele, which gives it a "country vibe".[4][6] Battle described "Ugly Heart" as being "really eclectic", while Slayton branded it "a Hawaiian hoedown".[4][12] During the bridge, Van Oppen talks over strumming guitars, followed by Battle who sings a high note, before the song goes back into the chorus.[11] Alex Kritselis from Bustle.com said the chorus had "a chant-like quality to it" that made it easy sing along with.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

"Ugly Heart" received general acclaim from contemporary music critics. A writer from Popjustice branded it a "really quite brilliant song about hot wankers" and gave it a 9 out of 10 rating. The writer believed the song was better than the group's debut and improved their chances of a successful career.[13] Jamieson Cox from Time described the song as "moonlit, guitar-oriented pop" and a "sneering kiss-off" with many "undeniable" features of a Dr. Luke production. He also praised the band members chemistry on the song.[14] Mike Wass from Idolator thought the track was an "irresistible anthem" that left him "hooked" after one listen. He particularly liked the "guitar-pop direction" because it differed from the more dominant charting electro-pop songs.[15] Perez Hilton described the song as infectious, great and awesome. He likened the beginning of "Ugly Heart" to a signature Jason Mraz track and praised the lead vocals.[16]

Homorazzi.com reporter Donovan Pagtakhan named it the group's best song to date and a "catchy pop track with a folk vibe",[17] while Maximum Pop! said the track "feels like a tune you'd pump in your car when riding with your girlfriends.[18] Brad Stern from MTV labeled it a "certifiable, Dr. Luke-produced smash" packed with "chant-along-friendly hooks".[19] Jason Lipshutz from Billboard quipped "the group uncovers the winning pop formula that previous single 'Vacation' failed to unlock."[6] Melissa Redman from Renowned for Sound gave "Ugly Heart" three and a half stars out of five. She called the tune "cliche", but thought it had a "catchy appeal" and was a "nice effort from G.R.L" overall.[20] Sugarscape.com's Carl Smith dubbed it an "insanely sassy single".[5] Igee Okafor writing for magazine The Source likened "Ugly Heart" to "up-tempo and high-energy" releases by Ke$ha. They described the ukulele as "infectious" and the vocals as "powerful and impeccable".[21] Billboard named the song #50 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the week commencing July 14, 2014, "Ugly Heart" debuted at number 41 on the ARIA Singles Chart in Australia.[23] It reached a peak position of number 2.[24] Ugly Heart also landed at No. 10 on The Australian 2014 Year End charts.[25] The track reached a peak position of number 3 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart.[26] In the United Kingdom, on the week after Battle's death, "Ugly Heart" debuted at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart due to lack of streaming and despite being at number 6 on the sales-only based version of the chart.[27][28] Although the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 7 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and has sold over 113,000 copies in the United States.[29]

Music video[edit]

Filming for the accompanying music video began on June 9, 2014.[30] The video was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero and shot in downtown Los Angeles.[31] The video opens with each of the girls being escorted from a tattoo parlour by male police officers.[32] While they are getting booked at the police station, the girls begin dancing on the tables and in a cell. They are then taken into a line-up room, where they continue to dance.[32] The focus then turns to a man on the other side of the glass, with tattoos spelling out "ugly" all over his face. As the video ends, Battle says "Now your face is like your heart. Ugly."[32]

The video attracted over 2.5 million views in less than a week following its release. As of August 2018, the music video has been viewed over 72 million times on YouTube.[9] Lucas Villa of ticket merchant AXS branded it a cute video in which "even bad girls just want to have fun".[33]

Track list[edit]

Digital download

  1. "Ugly Heart" – 3:20

Other version

  • Dave Aude club mix – 6:55
  • Dave Aude dub – 6:10
  • Dave Aude instrumental – 6:55
  • Dave Aude radio edit – 4:08
  • Wideboys club mix – 6:03
  • Wideboys dub – 6:03
  • Wideboys radio edit – 3:04

Live performances[edit]

The group first performed the song at the iTunes Festival SXSW on March 14, 2014.[34] On May 10, 2014 they performed it at KIIS-FM's Wango Tango.[35] They performed the track at the 2014 Dinah Shore Weekend in Las Vegas.[36] They later performed at the 103.3 AMP Radio "Birthday Bash" in Boston on June 15, 2014.[37] On July 29, 2014 G.R.L. performed an acoustic version of the song for Perez TV.[38] The group's first televised performance of the single was on Sunrise, while they also performed the song on the second live decider of X Factor Australia on August 18, 2014. They performed on Good Morning America on August 20, 2014.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format
United States June 3, 2014 Digital download[6]
June 24, 2014 Mainstream radio[7]
United Kingdom August 30, 2014 Digital download[63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Simone Battle death ruled suicide: G.R.L. singer died by hanging, coroner confirms". New York Daily News. September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Adejobi, Alicia (2016-10-17). "Can you tell the difference between Little Mix's Shout Out To My Ex and GRL's Ugly Heart?". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  3. ^ "Little Mix Accused Of 'Ripping Off' Another Girl Group With New Single". The Huffington Post. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Malach, Maggie (April 4, 2014). "G.R.L. Interview: Girls Talk Visiting Miami With Pitbull, A Guy With an 'Ugly Heart' + Empowerment [Exclusive]". Popcrush. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Carl (July 13, 2014). "G.R.L talk their new single 'Ugly Heart', getting revenge on guys and the wildest things they've done for love". Sugarscape.com. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Lipshutz, Jason (June 3, 2014). "G.R.L. Drops 'Ugly Heart' Single: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  8. ^ Hilton, Perez (June 2, 2014). "Exclusive! G.R.L.'s Ugly Heart Has Glorious Artwork & An Inspirational Message!!! Deets On Their Salacious New Single!". PerezHilton.com. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "G.R.L. to release debut self-titled EP July 29th on Kemosabe Records/RCA Records". RCA Records. July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Edwards, Gavin (August 1, 2014). "Meet G.R.L.: An Ambitious Girl Group for the 21st Century". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Kritselis, Alex (June 3, 2014). "G.R.L.'s new single 'Ugly Heart' is what pop music is all about - listen". Bustle.com. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Chan, Anna; Harry, Kelly (March 31, 2014). "Ladies of G.R.L. talk girl power and being like Transformers". Today.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "GRL – 'Ugly Heart'". Popjustice. March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  14. ^ Cox, Jamieson (March 14, 2014). "G.R.L. Give the Ultimate Kiss-Off in 'Ugly Heart': Listen". Time. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Wass, Mike (March 13, 2014). "The Ladies Of G.R.L. Deliver Their Best Song Yet: Listen To The Incredible 'Ugly Heart'". Idolator. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  16. ^ Hilton, Perez (March 20, 2014). "Listen To This: The Doctor Is In". PerezHilton.com.
  17. ^ Pagtakhan, Donovan. "G.R.L. Shows Their 'Ugly Heart' On New Track". Homorazzi.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  18. ^ "Download or Ditch? G.R.L. 'Ugly Heart' – Are they the new Pussycat Dolls?". 3 July 2014.
  19. ^ Stern, Brad (March 18, 2014). "Say Lou Lou, Kylie Minogue, G.R.L. + More: 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week". MTV Buzzworthy. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  20. ^ Redman, Melissa (11 July 2014). "Single Review: G.R.L – 'Ugly Heart'". Renowned for Sound. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  21. ^ Okafor, Igee (August 2, 2014). "Exclusive: G.R.L. Talks New EP, Working With Pitbull & More". The Source. (L. Londell McMillan). Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  23. ^ Corner, Lewis (July 14, 2014). "The Madden Brothers end Justice Crew's No.1 reign in Australia". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  24. ^ "Paloma Faith staying strong at No. 1". Australian Recording Industry Association. August 2, 2014. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  26. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  27. ^ Alexander, Susannah (7 September 2014). "Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz hold on to UK Number 1 single". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  28. ^ "FreezePage". Archived from the original on 2014-09-12.
  29. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (March 3, 2015). "Girl Group Tragedy: Inside G.R.L.'s Slow Healing Process". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  30. ^ G.R.L. (June 9, 2014). "Shooting the #UGLYHEART music video today with the ever-so talented director @marrsattacks AAAAND action!". Twitter. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  31. ^ Best, R (July 4, 2014). "G.R.L are headed to Australia with newest single 'Ugly Heart'!". Spotlight Report. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  32. ^ a b c Stern, Bradley (July 1, 2014). "The G.R.L. Girls Go Bad In The Video For 'Ugly Heart': Watch". Idolator. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  33. ^ Villa, Lucas (July 8, 2014). "G.R.L. stirs up some trouble in 'Ugly Heart' music video". AXS. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  34. ^ Ramirez, Erika (February 19, 2014). "Coldplay, Pitbull & More Set For 2014 iTunes Festival At SXSW". Billboard. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  35. ^ "Videos". KIIS-FM. 10 May 2014. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  36. ^ "Dinah Vegas: performers". dinahshoreweekend.com. 1 April 2014. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  37. ^ ""G.R.L. Talk" With Vanessa Backstage". WODS. 18 June 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  38. ^ Hilton, Perez (July 29, 2014). "Exclusive! G.R.L. Treats You To Ugly Heart Acoustically! Watch Them Break Down The Man Drama & Slay With Sound HERE!". PerezHilton.com. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  39. ^ "Australian-charts.com – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  40. ^ "Ultratop.be – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
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  42. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201440 into search. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  43. ^ "Chart Track: Week 37, 2014". Irish Singles Chart.
  44. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  45. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – G.R.L. - Ugly Heart" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  46. ^ "Charts.nz – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  47. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart". VG-lista. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  49. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201439 into search. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  50. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart". Singles Top 100.
  51. ^ "Pop" (in Ukrainian). FDR Music Charts. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
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  53. ^ "September 29, 2014 - Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  54. ^ Trust, Gary (September 1, 2014). "Chart Highlights: Charli XCX's 'Boom Clap' Thunders To Top Of Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  55. ^ "End of Year Charts – ARIA Top 100 Singles 2014". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  56. ^ "IRMA - Best of Singles". IRMA Charts. Irish Record Music Association. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  57. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2014". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  58. ^ Copsey, Rob (December 31, 2014). "The Official Top 100 Biggest Songs of 2014 revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  59. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  60. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – G.R.L. – Ugly Heart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  61. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat" (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Type G.R.L. in the top right search bar. Click on "Sok" and select Ugly Heart and see certification.
  62. ^ "British single certifications – GRL – Ugly Heart". British Phonographic Industry. April 2, 2016. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Ugly Heart in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  63. ^ Gipson, Chloe (31 July 2014). "Challenge Tuesday: Watch new girl group G.R.L go head to head in the popper challenge!". Heat. (Bauer Media Group). Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.

External links[edit]