BSBB Round 2: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Jeremih ft. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"
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Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules

Steal My Girl

One Direction

Don't Tell 'Em

Jeremih feat. YG

MEAGHAN GARVEY: The sun rose and set on what felt like a dozen supposed release dates for my most anticipated R&B album of the year, Jeremih’s Late Nights: The Album, and still—nothing. Ah, 2014: the year Rick Ross released two retail albums, and the most promising voice in R&B, with a platinum single, skulks in major label purgatory. At least we got “Don’t Tell Em” out of the deal, though: a song that’s at once quintessentially 2014 (Mustard on the beat, ho) and totally transcendent. And don’t you look at me like that, Zayn Malik. You’re still bae.
My Vote: “Don't Tell ‘Em”

CHRIS PAYNE: “Steal My Girl” is a good, goes-down-easy song, but it’s a little too much of a paint-by-numbers, play-it-safe pop-rock song for me. Maybe “Don’t Tell ‘Em” is just playing on my early-90s nostalgia (via interpolating “Rhythm Is a Dancer”), but it’s got a cool nocturnal, early Weeknd vibe that I find pretty damn entrancing.
My Vote: “Don't Tell ‘Em”

ERIN STRECKER: Is this One Direction’s best song? No. But the lead single off Four promises good things for the now all-grown-up boy band. We’ll just agree to never mention the monkey and Danny Devito-starring video again, and continue on hitting replay on Spotify and trying to convince others that, somehow, One Direction turned into a really good band.
My Vote: "Steal My Girl"

STEVEN J. HOROWITZ: I’m an allegiant to anything remotely nostalgic about ‘90s house music, so it’s surprising that I never really took to “Don’t Tell ‘Em,” which samples “Rhythm Is a Dancer.” I didn’t take to One Direction’s latest snooze Four either, but “Steal My Girl” is an undeniable arena-ready ’80s adulation. Sorry, Jeremih.
My Vote: “Steal My Girl”

MYLES TANZER: In a year that was dominated by female voices on the charts, "Don't Tell 'Em" was a rare bright spot for male vocals. In another year, it probably would've gotten lost in the shuffle, but it really does stick out in 2014. Plus, that Snap sample is stupidly impossible to resist. Sure, "Steal My Girl" works as a glittery dose of stadium pop that could send a shiver down the spine of any Journey cover band, but who wouldn't want to shout YG's infamous "I gotta missed call from your bitch" just as loud as you would want to scream a teen anthem?
My Vote: “Don't Tell ‘Em”

OVERALL WINNER: “Don't Tell ‘Em”

Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules