Being a pop star these days requires intention. On top of good music, it’s meticulously detailed rollouts and high-concept visuals — the sort of things that drive conversation, rather than just being part of it. At this point, it’s hard to argue Doja Cat isn’t a pop star; she’s got a No. 1 hit and has stayed relevant throughout the pandemic with a mix of fun features and innovative performances. Yet much of her career to this point has also been driven by the whims of virality, from her 2018 meme hit “Mooo!” to Hot Pink’s “Say So” and “Streets,” which first rose up the charts thanks to TikTok. Planet Her, Doja’s third album, is her first chance to earn those pop-star bona fides and dismiss the question that always hangs over viral breakouts of whether it was all a fluke. From the record’s through-line as a fantasy planet of acceptance and equality to the natural popularity of catchy-as-hell single “Kiss Me More” with SZA, Planet Her is a confident arrival.
“You Right,” a song Doja Cat teased for months as a single, wasn’t quite as intentional as the rest of the album. Doja had finished a version of the song by the time the Weeknd heard it and decided he wanted to contribute, she told E! News; she originally wanted him on a different album cut that “ended up not working.” There’s nothing bad about the Weeknd’s contribution: He brings the sensual, run-filled vocals that were absent from recent hits like “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears,” and seems like a genuinely interested collaborator, after the two linked for an endlessly groovy remix of his own After Hours track “In Your Eyes.” But there’s something disjointed about their chemistry, and you can hear the seams of the Weeknd’s contribution to the song.
A lackluster A-list collaboration could drag down a make-or-break album like Planet Her. “You Right” isn’t even the only case — Doja’s team-up with Ariana Grande on “I Don’t Do Drugs” (their third in under a year, after “motive” and a “34 + 35” remix with Megan Thee Stallion) is equally forgettable. (Props to Young Thug for at least having fun with his contribution, on “Payday.”) But this just goes to show that Planet Her is Doja Cat’s world. She’s a performer who has struggled before to claim the spotlight on her own, whether relying on a Nicki Minaj feature to bump “Say So” to No. 1 or answering for her collaborations with alleged abuser Dr. Luke (which still mar Planet Her, on which he produces, including the song with the Weeknd). At the same time, though, Doja Cat has charisma in spades. How else did she go viral in the first place? That’s evident from the effortlessly catchy hook of “You Right,” or when she writes a fling off as, “it’s just nerves, it’s just dick.” She also delivers one of her more refined vocal performances, making for a bouncy R&B jam modeled after clear influences like Grande. While it can’t stack up against the career high of recent single “Need to Know” or song-of-summer contender “Kiss Me More,” it’s another good song on an album full of them. That’s thanks to no one else but Doja Cat, who has a gift for making it look easy to churn out bops.