7 Years

7 Years by krin.jpg

Date Aired
June 21, 2016
Running Time
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Todd plays "7 Years" on the piano.

A pop song review

Todd: I gotta be honest with you guys. I feel like I'm gettin' kinda old.

Clip of Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla Sign - "Work from Home"
Fifth Harmony: You don't gotta go to work, work, work, work, work, work

Todd (VO): I've been doing this show a long time now. I...I feel like pop music is passing me by, like I'm too old to get it anymore. And speaking candidly, I may not have ever gotten it to begin with.

Todd: I have no idea why you guys even listen to me. I mean, what do I know? I'm a terrible critic.

Clip of Future ft. The Weeknd - "Low Life"

Todd (VO): I'm always behind the trends. Whenever the new, hot, important thing comes out, I'm the last one on the bandwagon every time. [clip of "Get Low" by...] When Lil Jon first got big, I thought he was the worst thing I ever heard. [clip of The Chainsmokers featuring Daya - "Don't Let Me Down"] And I'm still not huge on EDM, which is the wave of the future, unless it's not anymore, and I just haven't realized it yet because I'm that behind! Why are you listening to me?!

Todd: And especially lately, I feel like this stuff is just not something I understand anymore.

Clip of Desiigner - "Panda"
Desiigner: Black X6, Phantom
White X6, look like a panda
Going out like I'm Montana

Todd: What the hell is this shit?!

Todd (VO): Not only is this not a good song, it's...barely even a song. And that's like a ton of songs lately.

Clip of Drake performing "One Dance" on Saturday Night Live
Drake: I need a one dance
Got a Hennessey in my hand

Todd (VO): Gosh, Drake, I don't know if you sound bored enough.

Todd: See if you can sound even flatter and duller.

Clip of Zayn - "Pillowtalk"

Todd (VO): Just...these songs, they're...just like a monotone. It's like no one cared at all. Everything sounds so half-assed; it's like they're sleepwalking through it.

Clip of Rihanna ft. Drake - "Work"
Rihanna: Work, work, work, work, work, work

Todd (VO): Literally, this Rihanna song sounds like she took some downers and is losing consciousness.

Rihanna: Work, work, work, work, work, work
When you all gon'
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn

Todd (VO): I...hate to be that guy, I do, I just...

Todd: I just want something I get, you know? Something familiar, something...you know, songful, that sounds like music that I recognize, something that speaks to my life and my concerns. Right now, I'm concerned about my ever-increasing age and the passage of time. Why can't we have something about that? [Scrolling up shot of Billboard Hot 100 for the week of June 25, 2016] I'm too old for the rest of this shit about pandas or whatever. I've been doing this job too long. Christ, it's been seven years. Wait. [Close-up shot of the #6 song for the week, which is...] "7 Years"? Is this a sign?

Video for "7 Years"
Lukas Graham Forchhammer: Once I was 7 years old
My mama told me
"Go make yourself some friends or you'll be lonely"

Todd (VO): Oh, my God.

Todd: This is perfect! Listen to it!

Lukas: I always had that dream
Like my daddy before me

Todd (VO): Real instruments?! Lyrics that are actually about something?! An actual song with, like, choruses and verses and shit?! Oh, God, yes, I get it!

Todd: Thank Christ! I get it! [pause] I mean, I don't like it.

Todd (VO): I actually hate it. A lot. I think it's worse than all those other songs I was talking about by a huge margin. There is absolutely no question that this is gonna make my worst list this year. Probably pretty high.

Todd: Place your bets now: where will it land? #6? #2? #1?!

Todd (VO): It's a real possibility, 'cause this song is truly, truly awful. But it's an awful that...

Todd: ...I understand. In fact, it's the most familiar kind of awful there is. [Picture of...] Yes, it's our old friend: the white guy with acoustic guitar. [Guitar strum] Minus the guitar.

Clip of "Criminal Mind"

Todd (VO): Let me back up here. These guys are Lukas Graham, named for their frontman, Lukas Graham Forchhammer, and they are from yet another new stop on our international pop tour, [promo pic of...] Denmark: a country you think about so little that you don't even realize that's not Denmark; windmills and tulips are Dutch! Know your national stereotypes, goddammit! [Beat] Also, HBO, please don't sue me.

Clip of live performance

Todd (VO): For the past year, Lukas Graham has been tearing up Europe, standing a good chance at being the most internationally successful act in Danish history. Yes, bigger than [promo pic of...] MØ, [album cover of Waiting for Saturday Night – Her Greatest Hits by...] Whigfield, [...and...] Michael Learns to Rock. Yes, those giants have been toppled by these Nordic, pastry-eating numbnutses. [Clip of "One Call Away" by...] And unfortunately, between this and Charlie Puth, it looks like the piano has officially taken the place of acoustic guitars as the instrument of choice of the talentless bro, which...you know, that's a shame. I feel...

Todd: ...devalued as a piano-playing white guy. (As far as you know.) But you know what? I'm still...

Todd (VO): ...calling them a white guy with acoustic guitar, even though they're more than one guy and I don't hear any guitar in there. It's...

Todd: You know, I came up with that term so early on in the show, and I've had to defend and redefine it so often, but for the record, being a white guy with an acoustic guitar is not literal, it's a mindset.

Todd (VO): It doesn't have to do with your skin color or even what instrument you play. As long as you're a lazy, shallow, self-absorbed douche who writes music that pretends to be sensitive...

Todd: ...you too can be a white guy with an acoustic guitar. Really, deep down, aren't we all white guys? That's stupid, forget I said that.

Todd (VO): For what it's worth, I'm told they do sound like an actual band and stuff on their other songs, which have been circulating through their home country for a while now. For example, here's their biggest hit before this one, called [single cover of...] "Strip No More."

Todd braces himself

Clip of live Vevo performance of "Strip No More"
Lukas: I met this girl, I think she likes me
I said: "Hey, where's that girl I talked to yesterday?"
Now I said: "Hey, where is Destiny, is that her name?"
How come you don't strip no more
Magnus Larsson: Ooh-ooh-ooh
Lukas: [as Todd sits] How come you don't strip no more

Todd: Is this a joke?

Lukas: I met your friends, I think they like me
Magnus: They like me
Lukas: But they don't do it like you do
Kasper Daugaard: Like you do

Todd (VO): Did you seriously write a song where you're sad because your favorite stripper quit?

Lukas: Inside a private room, I hope you understand
I was like, woo-hoo
Magnus and Kasper: Woo-hoo
Lukas: She made go, wee-hee!

Todd (VO): Okay, this is gross.

Todd: Of course, what else can I expect from a bunch of [picture of Viking horde] Danish, barbarian-descended, Copenhagener neanderthals? What else have they done?

Clip of "Mama Said"
Lukas: Mama said that it was okay
Mama said that it was quite alright
Our kind of people had a bed for the night

Todd (VO): Oh, wow, sampling "Hard Knock Life" from Annie. What an amazing idea.

Todd: I can't believe no one else has thought of that.

Brief clip of Jay-Z - "99 Problems"
Jay-Z: Fuckers

Todd: But neither of those songs have...

Todd (VO): ...much to do with "7 Years," which is about the grand experience of traveling through this thing called life and the tragically finite nature of human existence, and the death of his father.

Lukas: Soon I'll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61
Remember life and then your life...

Todd (VO): Deep subject matter for a band who doesn't know how strip clubs work.

Todd: Look, like I said, this is a topic that weighs on my brain a lot. [Buzzfeed article: "43 Things That Will Actually Make You Feel Old"] I see those Buzzfeed articles that are like, "wanna feel old?" No! No, I already feel old. Constantly! This is how I feel every time I see those articles.

Clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) ages rapidly and decays to the screams of Dr. Elsa Schneider (Allison Doody)

So yeah, this should hit me right where I live. So let's see how they tackle this profound, universal subject.

Lukas: Once I was 7 years old
My mama told me
"Go make yourself some friends or you'll be lonely"
Once I was 7 years old

Todd: Oh, okay, I see, you were just a lonely little boy. I get that. Although, at 7 years, you should already be able to make friends. It's not hard at that age. [Picture of two kids coloring] "Hi, can I have some of your crayons?" "Okay." Bam. You're friends. But yeah, I get it.

Todd (VO): You start off knowing so little, you don't know your way in the world, you feel all alone.

Lukas: It was a big, big world, but we thought we were bigger
Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker

Todd: Oh, okay, you do have friends. I guess you were doing okay.

Lukas: By 11, smoking herb and drinking burning liquor

Todd (VO): What?! Horseshit! Horse shit! I do not believe for a second that you were smoking pot and drinking at age 11! What garbage.

Todd: [playing and singing] Once I was 6 months old, and I could slam dunk
I had a dozen girlfriends, got elected President

Lukas: By 11, smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
Never rich, so we were out to make that steady figure
Once I was...

Todd (VO): Well, you were rich enough to buy pot and booze at 11! Sounds pretty rich to me. Unless...

Todd: ...I don't know, that's just the way you roll in that [picture of bog with the spine of a rotting sheep sticking out] backwater swampland you call a country, and just shove pot and booze to 4th graders in between force-feeding them a steady diet of [pictures of...] Danish sausage and Lego bricks. I am comically prejudiced against Denmark; it's the basic premise of this review.

Todd (VO): Okay, but anyway, he's 11, he already smokes pot, what else?

Lukas: Once I was 11 years old, my daddy told me
Go get yourself a wife or you'll be lonely

Todd (VO): Yeah...yeah, that's a weird thing to say to an 11-year-old.

Todd: When I was 11 years old, my dad was telling me things like "brush your teeth, kid, your breath stinks," and "stop watching Power Rangers all day and go play outside or something, dammit," or maybe, "hey, don't drink liquor, you're 11"!

Todd (VO): You guys have weird parents. The fact that they let you smoke pot before your brain finished developing means their advice is probably not very useful.

Todd: Anyway, go on. What happened when you were older?

Lukas: I always had that dream like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me
'Cause only those I really love will ever really know me

Todd (VO): Oh, what's this crap?!

Todd: I believe that less than the thing about smoking pot!

Lukas: Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me

Todd (VO): "You know, I just don't care about fame, and all that show business stuff is so phony."

Todd: "I only care about what's real, you know." [mimes jerk-off] Pfft!

Todd (VO): But honestly, I hated this song well before I even listened to the lyrics.

Todd: No, I hated it just because of the way he sings.

Lukas: Once I was 20 years old

Todd: This is absolutely the wrong way to sing a song like this, and I know that for a fact because this premise has been done.

Clip of Five for Fighting - "100 Years"
John Ondrasik: I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20

Todd (VO): This is the one-man-band, Five for Fighting, and no, I was never much of a fan. VH1 piano ballads weren't really my genre, plus I was never happy with John Ondrasik's weird Muppet voice.

Todd: [singing like John] I can't stand to fly. I sound like a dog toy.

John: I'm 33 for a moment

Todd (VO): But his second-biggest hit, "100 Years," was still a pretty decent song. Quietly walking through snapshots of one man's life as the inexorable passage of time sweeps along.

John: When you only got a hundred years to live

Todd (VO): A big part of what makes it work is how subtle it is. He never, you know, stresses any of the milestones in this guy's life, he just lets it pass like sands through the hourglass. And that's the way he has to do it because the tragedy of it all is how mundane it is. It's normal and it's boring and it happens to all of us.

Todd: Apparently, Lukas Graham doesn't know that because he's...

Todd (VO): ...grunting out every line in this ridiculous rock voice because everything's so important and meaningful, man!

Lukas: Soon I'll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I...

Todd: [punching it] Will I!

Lukas: My story got told, I was...
Clip of Mötley Crüe - "Home Sweet Home"
Vince Neil: Just one more night...
I'm on my way
[as Todd holds up a lighter] Home sweet home
Lukas: Once I was 20 years old, my story got told

Todd (VO): So one time, you were 20 years old. So what? Most people were 20 years old. If you somehow skipped 20, that'd be something worth emoting all over.

Todd: I was never 20 years old
That's literally impossible
What the living hell, how does that work?

Lukas: I only see my goals, I don't believe in failure

Todd vomits to the left

Todd (VO): See, that is the #1 thing that makes them a WGWAG: the way the song reeks of ego!

Todd: "Dude, I was smoking weed at age 11. I write songs, I don't believe in failure."

Lukas: My woman brought children for me

Todd (VO): "My wife got kids for me." Just little things, like, any other song, I would just write that off, but here, it comes off like he really thinks that his kids are a gift to him, like a video game that he isn't going to share.

Lukas: Soon we'll be 30 years old, our songs have been sold
We've traveled around the world and we're still roaming

Todd: Yeah, that's interesting. Hey, remember that line from earlier?

Lukas: Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me

Todd: 'Cause now it kinda seems that you care pretty deeply about "glory."

Todd (VO): Look, you think your life is awesome, nothing wrong with that. Just don't bullshit me about how this is about life and death or anything. Rock out, write yourself a hair ballad about how you've seen a million faces and you've rocked them all, not this tinkling music box shit that's trying to sound serious.

Todd: I mean, it doesn't have to be goofy hair metal. [Clip of "Good Life" by...] I mean, there was that OneRepublic song. I didn't mind that song. Certainly didn't piss me off because it wasn't trying to pretend to be anything it wasn't.

Todd (VO): It doesn't pretend to be about the death of his dad, and then end up being 3 minutes of Lukas Graham giving himself a blowjob.

Lukas: Your life becomes a better one
I made a man so happy when I wrote a letter once

Todd: What the hell did that have to do with anything?

Todd (VO): "Man, I'm great. I just make people's lives better with my presence." I mean, I assume he's talking about a letter to a fan because of all the shit he keeps jerking himself off over.

Todd: I mean, this doesn't even compare well to Twenty One Pilots's "Stressed Out."

Clip of same
Tyler Joseph: My name's Blurryface and I care what you think

Todd (VO): Which is not very catchy, goes off into weird tangents about candle stores, has a chorus that goes "my name's Blurryface and I care what you think."

Todd: Seriously, why aren't we talking about that? But at least...

Todd (VO): ...it tries to capture the strain of growing up. [Back to "7 Years"] Seriously, the steaming self-importance of this idiot.

Screams of audience

Todd (VO): Wait, did...did you guys hear that?

Todd: I swear, I... It wasn't just me, right? There was something, what was that?

Lukas: Once I was 20 years old
Announcer: LUKAS GRAHAM!!!
Audience cheers heard

Brief glance at Todd

[Played twice]
Audience cheers heard

Todd prepares to explode, synced with clip of explosion behind Lukas

Todd (VO): Eat my balls, you raging egomaniac!

Lukas: Something about that glory

Todd (VO): "Oh, I don't care about glory, so in the middle of my song about aging, I'm gonna insert the sound of a roaring crowd screaming my name"!

Todd: "Oh, fame. How boring." Bullshit! I knew you were lying about that because you named the band [promo pic of band] after yourself! Why would you even do that? Like, [promo image of Van Halen] if you're the guitarist or something, that'd make sense so you don't get overlooked, but you're already the goddamn frontman! Were you not getting enough attention? [Pic from concert with "Lukas Graham" written in giant letters in background] It doesn't even sound like the name of a group of people. It sounds like you're...

Todd (VO): ...trying to trick people into thinking that the other guys don't exist. Like, at least the name [promo pic of...] "The Dave Matthews Band" lets you know that it's a band. But no, it's not enough that Lukas Graham named his band Lukas Graham, he also has to have a crowd shout "Lukas Graham"...

Announcer: LUKAS GRAHAM!!!

Todd (VO): ...on his song from the album [album cover of...] Lukas Graham.

Todd: Not to be confused with their previous album named, no joke, [album cover for the first...] Lukas Graham.

Todd (VO): I'm surprised the name of this song isn't "Lukas Graham." I'm surprised it doesn't go...

Todd: [playing and singing] Lukas, Lukas Graham
Lukas Graham

Lukas: Soon I'll be 60 years old

Todd (VO): There is literally nothing about this song that is any good. I hate every overwrought second of it. I especially hate the way he starts squealing the lyrics at the end.

Lukas: Once I was 7 years old

Todd: [crying] I was 7! I was 7!!! 7 whole years!!! It's between 6 and 8!!!

Todd (VO): Shut up, you moon pie-faced idiot! Man, I'm never gonna give Ed Sheeran shit ever again. And for the record, you can go to genius.com, where he's annotated his own lyrics, and yes, he claims that he did, in fact, smoke and drink as a kid. Sure. [Shot of Genius page about "7 Years"] But he also confirms that he does, in fact, genuinely believe that he is dropping truth bombs all over the place. [Closeup of post by Lukas Graham] "Dreaming and working very hard is very important if you want to realize your talent." Wow, amazing.

This is your most successful band? You suck, Denmark! This is why Sweden produces all the good music.

Todd: Well, I liked [album cover of Pretty in Black by...] the Raveonettes. Oh, and [promo pic of...] Junior Senior. Junior Senior was pretty good. Eh, Denmark, you're alright. Seriously, do something about this guy though.

Gets up and leaves

Lukas: Once I was 7 years old

Closing tag song: Peter Pan et al - "I Won't Grow Up"

"7 Years" is owned by Warner Music Group
This video is owned by me


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