By Terrance Turner
Aug. 28, 2022
In a thrilling new collaboration with producer Max Martin, singer Lizzo questions whether she’s prepared for a serious relationship — and falls hard for Tyson Beckford.
“Am I Ready (2 Be Loved)” is Lizzo’s first collaboration with producer Max Martin. “This is the first record I made with Max Martin, and it’s a dream record. As someone who’s been writing songs since I was 9, who studied music since I was 12, and who dreamed of being a performer, Max Martin is the dream collaborator. Recording it was like watching a legend in action. He’s an extremely collaborative, open, creative soul. The song is a callback to when pop records had key changes—that golden era of late-’80s and early-’90s pop when singers had massive records that were vocally impressive but also danceable, and the production quality was very intentional. I think it’s a work of art. It’s a masterpiece.”
She’s not wrong. “Am I Ready” is a stunner: a song that manages to be both catchy and confessional. It’s a frank look at Lizzo’s questioning whether she’s ready for something serious. “I did the work; it didn’t work,” she says at the beginning. “That truth, it hurts/Goddamn, it hurts.” In the music video, Lizzo leaves herself at the altar — throwing it back to her video for 2019’s chart-topper “Truth Hurts” — and hops into a red convertible for a cross-country trip across the desert.
“I’m good with my friends; I don’t want a man,” Lizzo sings in the first verse. After leaving her convertible behind and traipsing through the desert, Lizzo asks, “How am I supposed to love somebody when I don’t even like myself?” She then comes up with a solution. “Guess I better learn to like this,” she sings. “It might take my whole life just to do.”
In the video, it’s right about then that a motorcycle speeds into view, mounted by model Tyson Beckford.
As she snuggles with Beckford, Lizzo reconsiders her views again. On a (fantastic) chorus, Lizzo asks: “Am I ready to be loved?” It’s a lyrical call-and-response: Lizzo asks, “Am I ready?” and is answered by reassuring background vocals (“Girl, there ain’t a doubt”, “You deserve it now”). Behind all this is hyper-catchy, infectious dance pop crafted by Martin — another example of his legendary genius.
Lizzo performed the song on tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards.