The acoustic version of “Bad” is the newest offering from Oshawa born singer/songwriter Lennon Stella and breathes new life into the two-year-old song by changing it from an up-tempo breakup song to an acoustic ballad about true love gone wrong.
“Bad” appeared on Stella’s breakout EP, Love, Me, in 2018 and the new arrangement fits it perfectly. A singular acoustic guitar replaces the 808-driven trap-pop beats from the original song, and completely transforms the tone of the track to better fit lyrics like “I wish you would’ve treated me bad, bad, bad.”
The change in direction is symbolic of Stella’s growth as a musician over the past two years and continues the more mature direction she’s been taking since releasing her first album, Three. Two. One. early in 2020.
This version of “Bad” would fit in right next to songs like “Older Than I Am” and “Golf on TV” in her catalogue.
While Stella is best known for her appearance alongside Liam Payne and Jonas Blue on the song “Polaroid” and “Takeaway” with The Chainsmokers and Illenium, she’s shown the ability to swing back to stripped-down arrangements without missing a note. It’s no different on “Bad”.
Stella’s ability to change between genres also highlights the quality of her songwriting as it’s still a catchy, emotional tune in either state, but the new version allows for the nuance of the lyrics to come through in a way that doesn’t happen in the original.
The big reveal that Stella’s lover has been seeing someone else for six years in the bridge feels like just another line in the original song, but here it’s an emotional line that stands out from the rest.
Stella has gone through many changes in her career, from singing with her sister Maisy on YouTube to playing Maddie Conrad on the hit TV show Nashville, and now to popstar.
It’s clear Stella has talent, and if she continues to focus on arrangements that highlight her voice like this one, she’ll be around for a long time.
“Bad (Acoustic)” changes the song for the better and showcases Stella’s talent as a singer/songwriter along the way.
Sometimes you don’t get it quite right on the first try, but Stella nails it on the second attempt.