Sleeping with Strangers: A Review
Updated: Jul 2
Have you ever heard of Jake Miller? I recently discovered this young, handsome star via Tik Tok (536.4K followers), because where else do we find budding stars these days? To my surprise, I not only enjoyed his Tik Tok content, but his music as well. With peppy beats and relatable lyrics, Miller proves to be a little more than just a typical, chiseled pop singer with good looks.
One song that especially caught my attention was one of the hit songs off his 2:00 A.M. in LA album (2017), “Sleeping with Strangers.” Now, it’s the 21st century, so if you can think of a more relatable song title... please let me know. It’s harder to find someone these days who hasn’t slept with a stranger than someone who has. No shame (really), these are just facts. However, even trapped in an era of hook-up culture and one-night stands, Miller seeks to challenge these contemporary phenomenons with his music. In “Sleeping with Strangers,” he sings to a past lover about how he misses her, how his new lifestyle is: “overrated” and he’s “startin' to hate it / wasted and sad without you.”
He describes his detachment from the people he sleeps with, wishing they’d turn into “you.” While this is upsetting, it’s also a little narcissistic. The girls he sleeps with now are nothing compared to “you”. It’s a strong statement on hook-up culture in general, how it turns us into disposable people — bodies used for sex or touch. Are they all just faces without names? Not always. In fact, some relationships grow out of hook-up culture, but isn’t it true that others die alongside it? By dismissing the cycle of hook-up culture, Miller calls to attention the yearning in all of us for a true companion, in bed and outside of it. The song is centered around sleeping together, but in the last line he reveals a deeper truth: “I miss how you feel, I miss being sober / Baby I hate sleeping with strangers.” Miller not only misses the life he had with his former lover, but also the lifestyle that drove him to be a better person. Relationships cultivate a truer self, where, when healthy, partners seek to be good to each other. It’s scary, but also fulfilling. In essence, committed relationships grow out the one thing hook-up culture can’t provide: love.
Can you have sex with someone you don’t love? Absolutely. You can do it any time of day, any day of the week. You can do it with the click of a few buttons. I think what Miller is acknowledging is that people like sleeping with strangers because it keeps them from confronting themselves and their loneliness. Strangers are an easy wall to hide behind, but people you love can see everything about you. Both come with pros and cons, but I stick with Miller on this one. He isn’t kidding around when he sings, “she’s your replacement for now.” After all, why be someone's replacement, when you can be their “you”?