Lea Michele's Cory Monteith Song Is Crushing

It's been the elephant in the room since the wake of that tragic day last July, and now it's here: Lea Michele's tribute song to Cory Monteith "If You Say So" is now available for listening. We should warn you, though: It's just as heavy as you'd expect from a topic so heartbreaking, and it grants a rarely-seen glimpse into Michele's thoughts directly after Monteith's death.

Michele's been criticized for putting a song about such a delicate subject on her album; some say it's sort of a tactless grab for album sales. But this is Michele's first album and it's the first music she's put out that actually says something about herself and her experience, and not that of Glee or a Broadway musical. There's no doubt her past year has been very much impacted, even defined, by the loss of someone she loved so much, and that's never clearer than in this song, so, why not include it? And anyway, it's not as if the public would be watching her any less closely if she stayed completely silent on the matter. As she told Elle in an interview a few months back:

The album was done, and the label said, ‘Do you want to add anything?’ I was like, ‘I might regret it if I don’t.’ I said [to Sia], ‘I feel like I’m starting to just sink it in it, and he would never want me to do that. I need to remember that you have to live, because you can want to die.'

"If You Say So" is the cap on Michele's debut album Louder. The songs starts "it's been seven whole days, seven whole days since you paralyzed me/seven whole days, seven whole days since you lost your fight."

Oof. And it only gets more harrowing from there.

Listen for yourself: