Jesse McCartney could have put out a somber, contemplative visual to accompany his newest single, "Wasted." After all, despite its fresh, tropical beat and breezy danceability, the song details a relationship in which McCartney feels used by someone who only thinks of him when they're no longer sober. Instead, the singer decided to make light of the situation, creating a dramatic and fun music video that instead allows audiences — as well as McCartney himself — to laugh, and not stew in the pain that often keeps you from moving on.
What resulted is a veritable '80s soap opera, called "The Young & The Wasted." McCartney plays every character but one, who is portrayed by Katie Peterson. The singer's first character is Ricky Moonstruck, a caricature of a sleezy, rich playboy. His presumed love interest then falls for McCartney's second persona, the slick bad boy Brock Donahue. But in a dramatic turn of events, he's killed by the butler, Chamberlain (also McCartney).
All the while, the bright tenor cheekily sings the song as each member of the soap — even as Aunt Marge, that quintessential family member who is usually the drunkest at quiet dinners. ("You only call when you're wasted" seems like an especially fitting lyric here.) In the end, the show concludes and McCartney is seen watching it from a couch, along with a younger version of himself.
It's a wildly imaginative way to tell this story, and a welcome moment of hilarity that distances itself from the sore subject described in the lyrics: "You like to call me when your high/End of the party, I'm your guy/Thing is I do this every night." But in a way, this kind of attitude is the only one that protects us from dwelling on toxic relationships — remembering that though things may seem dramatic and irreparable, real life isn't a soap opera, and you can change your circumstances.
McCartney is mostly known for his lovesick hits in the earlier part of the last decade (2014's "Beautiful Soul" being one of the most notable), but his most recent releases build off of the emotions expressed in his previous work in mature, thoughtful ways. The 31-year-old released of his first single in four years, "Better With You", last year. With the contemporary electro-pop sensibilities of "Wasted, " the singer is back in action and poised to turn more heads in the near future. In fact, the singer is embarking on his Resolution tour around the U.S. this month.