Danielle Bradbery’s “Friend Zone” is a place she puts boys who treat her wrong. During her sassy new single, the singer reinvents the meaning of the phrase. No longer is it a procrastinator’s purgatory. Anyone who dares to not call her back will be cast away to this penalty box.

It takes a few close listens to catch every word of the snappy new track from Bradbery’s upcoming second album on Big Machine. Her fast-paced patter makes it one you’ll instantly dance to before realizing how and why she’s throwing shade at some young, no good jerk.

“I’m not talking smack, you know there’s no pity, pity / Trying to put it in words that you’ll understand / You don’t call her back you think it’s no biggie, biggie / Seconds on the clock you need a touchdown,” she sings to begin “Friend Zone.” These early lines offer the only explanation for what this hotshot has done to earn her scorn. From there she moves on to the penalty, delivered with numerous sports analogies.

“You thought you had a shot, you were good to go / But there’s never three strikes in love, you know / When she gets mad it ain’t gonna be pretty, pretty / Won’t see it comin’ it’s like a curveball,” she adds before a big, hooky chorus:

“You think you’re doing just fine / But ooh, she got you on the sideline / You think you’re finally toward the end zone / You’re just headed toward the friend zone.”

Vocally Bradbery sounds stronger than ever. Her voice powers the song and adds a little polish to a production that might be quickly labeled as too pop otherwise. Fans who appreciated the singer’s insightful storytelling on previous hits won’t find the same here, but “Friend Zone” is as much fun as she’ll ever have with a radio single.

Why Fans Will Love It: The sassy single is a fun way to put a boy in his place.

Key Lyrics: “Let me break it down to the facts / You will never get a girl like that / You gotta step up to the plate with a bat / That’s all I gotta say about that.” 

Did You Know?: Bradbery's songwriting team of Mikal Blue, Johan Lindbrandt and Shari Short are best known for contributions to pop music.

Listen to Danielle Bradbery, "Friend Zone"