Something Just Like This

Something like this tits.jpg

Date Aired
June 17, 2017
Running Time
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Todd plays "Something Just Like This" on the piano.

A pop song review

Todd: So, welcome back to yet another pop song review. Let's check what's big right now on the pop charts.

[Clip of some tumbleweeds]

Todd (VO): OhRight.

Todd: Man, this is such a weird time in pop music. All the big hitters seem to be striking out.

Clip of "Chained to the Rhythm" by...

Todd (VO): Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Lorde, Maroon 5, or even ['Clip of  "Now or Never" by...] newly appointed next big things like Halsey. All of them seem to be struggling at best to make any impact. ['Clip of Julia Michaels - "Issues"'​] Even the stuff that is getting airplay doesn't really feel like people actually notice or care.

Todd: That said, it's not a total dead zone, there are some big names maintaining chart success.

Clip of "Shape of You"

Todd (VO): All guys for some reason, I'm not sure why but... yeah, we still got Ed Sheeran, [Clip of "That's What I Like" by...] Bruno Mars, [Clip of "Despacito" featuring...] Justin Bieber as a guest vocalist.

Todd: Oh, and...

Clip of live performance
Chris Martin: I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths

Todd: Hey, old the hell are you guys still here?

Clip of Coldplay - "Yellow"

Todd (VO): When you think about it, it's really remarkable just how much longevity Coldplay's enjoyed. 17 years since their debut and they're still in the Top 10.

Todd: How on Earth did they pull that off?

Todd (VO): Staying relevant is really hard. Especially if you're a band like Coldplay where who the hell knows why they were relevant the first time.

Todd: I'm sorry, I just... I didn't really get Coldplay. I always found them a little... You know what, why dance around it? I hated them.

Clip of "Fix You"

Todd (VO): I absolutely hated them. I absolutely, utterly hated them. They were a terrible band. Their songs were droning, boring and, most of all, empty.

Clip of Snow Patrol - "Just Say Yes"

Todd (VO): I compare it to Snow Patrol or Death Cab for Cutie, who wrote lyrics with emotional power.

Todd: And meanwhile I listen to all these... 

Back to "Fix You"

Todd (VO): Coldplay hits and I'm like " Where are you going with this?

Todd: What is this supposed to make me feel?"

Clips of "Clocks"..

Todd (VO)(mocking Chris) "Lights go out..." [...,"Yellow"...] "Drew a yellow line..." [...and "Speed of Sound"] "Birds fly really fast..."

Todd: And? What's your goddamn point?

Clip of "The Scientist"

Todd (VO): And even when they did have lyrics I could connect with they always moved so... slowly. Just wanted to kick it like a [Clip of old man pull a lawnmower's cord] lawnmower that wouldn't start.

Todd: Move!

Clip of "Charlie Brown"

Todd (VO): But, you know, I've already said that, lately, I'm not so cold on Coldplay anymore. And, in fact, since "Viva la Vida", more and more, I found I've liked everything they put out.

Todd: I don't know. They... they got better with age. They've got a pulse now. They're more like a real band.

Todd (VO): But it's still ridiculous that they've managed to maintain their level of fame and even get big radio hits like they've had. No one lasts this long anymore.

Todd: So how have they survived where bigger, flashier pop stars like Katy Perry are failing? I have a theory. Maybe we just don't like choruses anymore.

Clip of Miley Cyrus - "Malibu"

Todd (VO): You know, the chorus? The basic foundation of songs dating back hundreds of years up all the way to... about a few years ago? Well, apparently we don't want those anymore.

Todd: We want drops.

Clip of DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber - "Let Me Love You"

Todd (VO): It's all EDM nowadays. We want the catchy part of the song not to be a chorus you can sing along with,[Clip of live peformance of Martin Garrix - "Animals"] but an instrumental riff with some loud bass and... we'll sing along to that I guess.

Todd: So in that regard, Coldplay was better prepared for the future than most people because... well a lot of their songs also didn't really have big choruses. They were all about drops.

Clip of "Speed of Sound"

Todd (VO): Okay, maybe they weren't technically drops per se, but the big vocal point for a lot of their songs was the keyboard riff.

Clip of "Clocks"
Chris: Youuuuuuuu....

Todd (VO): Unless you think (mocking Chris) "oooohhhh, ahhhhhh" is a chorus. It's not. [Clip of "A Sky Full of Stars"] This is why they've managed to work so well with EDM producers. They've done it several times now and it's, it's working out real well for them.

Todd: And if they're gonna keep doing that and keep getting hits they've gotta work with the biggest EDM act today which is uh...

Clip of The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - "Closer"
Andrew Taggert: Hey
Todd sighs
Clip of "Paris"

Andrew: We were stayin' in Paris

Todd (VO): I mean, talk about pop stars who are still big in 2017. Yeah, these guys are the biggest. The "Selfie" guys...

Todd: Yes, I'm not ever gonna stop calling them that.

Todd (VO):... are the main pop stars of 2017. And they're the most controversial too. You love 'em or you hate 'em. Or, in my case, both. [Clip of...] "Closer" was my favorite song last year and I got a lot of shit for that.

Todd: Especially from the voices in my head. I mean I keep getting comments like "God, Todd, you have terrible taste!" And "you need to get a real job and call your parents more."

Clip of The Chainsmokers performing at the Multishow

Todd (VO): But they're huge and Coldplay seems to know how to pick their collaborators at their absolute peak of fame. So, of course, now, this year, they're working with...

Todd: The Chainsmokers. I kind of imagined Chris Martin saying...

Todd (VO): "I want something just like this" while looking at The Chainsmokers's [Image of The Chainsmokers with a wheelbarrow filled with a...] giant pile of money.

Todd: So that's where we are. We have a collaboration between two acts who have both made songs I really like and songs I really don't. I had no idea how to deal with this news. I mean, where do we go from here?

Live performance at the 2017 BRITS

Todd (VO): We go to "there's no music video for this one because everyone seems to be trying to make my job harder these days." All we have is a live video but, uh, don't worry, you won't notice. It sounds exactly like the radio version because [Picture of DJ performing on stage] DJs don't actually do anything on stage.

Todd: Okay, fine, fine, fine, yeah, yeah, yeah, DJs probably do do something up there. Although I'm guessing The Chainsmokers don't, you know. But anyway, let's see how this goes.

Chris: I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spider-Man's control
And Batman with his fists
But clearly I don't see myself up on that list

Todd (VO): Okay. Yeah, okay, it's about insecurity and weakness. I, I can feel that.

Todd: I mean, like I said, I don't always feel Coldplay's lyrics.

Clip of "In My Place"
Chris: In my place, in my...

Todd (VO): (mocking Chris) In my place, in my place... Yeah, yeah, so, so what? You've got a nice place here.

Todd: What am I s... Sorry. He wishes he was a hero. I totally get it. Though, not sure about the wording.

Chris: Spider-Man's control
And Batman with his fists

Todd: Spider-Man's control?

Clips from Spider-Man

Todd (VO): Uh, he does control things, I guess. That's not really what I'd call his powers. He can't even control his movies [Poster of The Amazing Spider-Man 2] from being shit.

Todd: As for Batman with his fists, um...

Chris: And Batman with his fists

Todd (VO): You got fists, too.

Todd: Batman doesn't have superpowers. You want Batman's fists, just go to the gym.

Picture of Chris Martin in public

Todd (VO): You're a goddamn twig anyway. Probably all that weird organic shit Gwyneth made you eat.

Todd: But the real head-scratcher in that verse is uh...

Chris: Achilles and his gold

Todd: (beat) A... Achilles' gold?

Chris: Achilles and his gold

Todd (VO): Did Achilles have gold? W... what gold? What are you talking about?

Todd leans over and grabs a book

Todd: Gold... gold...

Picture of the Golden Apple

Todd (VO): It starts with a golden apple. Uh...

Todd: Achilles didn't really have anything to do with that. (Drops book) What the hell are you talking about? Rap to the rescue.

Todd (VO): Gold..

Screenshot of the Genius lyric description in question, with zooming in on "Achilles' armor was made of enchanted gold"

Todd (VO): Golden armor? What golden armor?

Todd: I don't remember any... (Reaches down, grabs the book back up and grunts angrily) Golden armor...

[Picture of statuette of Achilles]

Todd (VO): There's no... I think it was bronze. [Picture of Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy] Is he wear... he's not wearing gold in the movie.

Todd: Are they tal... not talking about the Iliad version or... (sighs) Maybe that ver... this version is gold. I don't know, maybe... (finally snaps) What am I doing?

Todd (VO): Who cares? Achilles had invulnerability powers. [Picture of statuette] He didn't need armor. I don't even know why he wore it. It didn't do anything.

Todd: Even if he did have gold, it doesn't have anything to do with why he was special. What are you even talking about?

Chris: I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths

Todd (VO): You liar! You haven't read any of it. You're just trying to fake it.

Todd: These are the most half-assed literary references I've seen since [Poster of...] Alien: Covenant. I'm getting sidetracked. Minus the Achilles stuff, the point is his girl tells him "it's okay,...

Chris: She said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts

Todd: ...It's okay to just be you." That's what we're building to. Let's let loose.

Chris: I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo doo
I want something just like this
Drop plays
Chris: Oh, I want something just like this

Todd: (Beat) That's the drop from "Roses".

Clip from The Chainsmokers feat. ROZES - "Roses"
Drop plays
ROZES: Ah, ah, ah

Todd (VO): They just cut and pasted in the drop from "Roses".

Chris: I want something just like this
Drop plays

Todd (VO): Okay, so apparently when The Chainsmokers heard Chris Martin saying "I want something just like this",...

Todd: ...they took it as an instruction. Actually, wait a minute. Play the drop again.

Chris: this
Drop plays

Todd (VO): "Feeling drunk and high, so high, so high"...

Clip of Coldplay ft. Beyoncé - "Hymn for the Weekend"
Chris: Oh, I, oh, I, oh, I
Now I'm feeling drunk and high
So high, so high

Todd (VO): Oh wow, so they're both recycling themselves now.

Todd: "Something just like this", indeed.

Todd (VO): Okay, blatant self-plagiarism aside, the climax of the song is, it turns out, it's okay, he's not a superhero.

Chris: I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts

Todd (VO): His girl loves being with him and his weak, ungifted self.

Todd: Just like, uh, Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are".

Clip of Billy Joel - "Just the Way You Are"
Billy Joel: Don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard

Todd (VO): See? He doesn't mind that his girl's a witless dullard. I mean she's dumb, he's lazy, it's perfect.

Chris: Some superhero
Some fairy-tale bliss

Todd (VO): But let's be real here. Part of the reason it's okay for Chris Martin to not be Hercules is [Picture of Chris Martin performing in front of hundreds of fans] uh, yeah, he's a world-famous rock star. He's been a huge name for almost 20 years now. He's gonna be rich and famous for the rest of his life. It's funny, he's so rich and famous and successful he has to compare himself to [Painting of Hercules tackling Cerberus] superheroes and demigods to make himself look human.

Todd: I mean, I guess I prefer that to Ed Sheeran's humblebrag crap.

Todd (VO): But I can't help but notice that there's... there's kind of a disconnect between the way the song is structured and what it's saying. Like, we get to the drop. It's just like "you don't have to be a superhero. I want something just like this." And I'm like, "really?" This song is how it's okay to just be normal but...

Todd: Coldplay doesn't play normal. C... Coldplay's a big stadium rock band and EDM's all about giant drops.

Todd (VO): So, right when it's supposed to find peace in being ordinary, it just starts hollering like he's about to go Super Saiyan.

Chris Martin: I want something just like this
Clip from Dragon Ball Z where Gohan goes Super Saiyan as the drop plays

Todd: [Thinks about it] You know what, actually, maybe that's not fair.

Todd (VO): I mean it ... it's soft when he feels like nothing and when he feels happy about things the song kicks in. Well that ... that makes sense.

Todd (VO): Ah, I guess I retract the complaint. Sorry. Sometimes when you're a critic you catch yourself making up things to criticize. I yelled at a [Picture of...] sandwich the other day 'cause I didn't have Wi-Fi.

Chris: Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I'm not the kind of person that it fits

Todd (VO): So this is like the serious version of the...

Todd: ...Scrubs theme, huh?

Clip of opening from Scrubs with Lazlo Bane - "Superman" playing
Lazlo Bane: I know I'm no Superman

Todd: So um...

Todd (VO): Yeah, despite a fairly novel collaboration between two big names from different genres this is uh... really not breaking any new ground. There's a popular YouTube video a couple of months ago about how all Chainsmokers are written with, like, the exact same chords.

Clip of that video by John Fassold
John Fassold: [Playing piano] Just walk it up and down, dah, dah, dah...

Todd (VO): Yeah, "Something Just Like This" matches that pretty exactly. Well, I mean, obviously it recycled the entire drop from one of their songs. Maybe they're trying to make this [Screenshot of Four Chord Song progression sheet by Nick Long] the new pop song chords.

Todd: In fact I think they're already kinda succeeding. Let me... (Plays piano in same four chords) "I want something just like this.." "So high..." "Of your Rover that I know you can't afford, bite that tattoo..." "All you have to do is stay a minute, just take your time..." "Boy, got me walkin' side to side..." "There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark..." "All my friends are heathens, take it slow..." (Stops playing) Yeah, of course...

Clip of Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'"

Todd (VO): The original pop song chords are, you know, they're too happy. These days we need something more minor key and edgier.

Todd: In fact, that's what I meant when I said the chorus didn't feel right.

Todd (VO): It's not that it's too big. It's that it's too tense. It's supposed to reach a point of happiness here but it's not a happy-sounding song. It sounds like it's gonna explode with angst. I think that's my problem with it, but..

Todd: let's be real. All the stuff I'm complaining about, it's... it's minor. It's not a huge deal.

Todd (VO): So the structure's a little off, whatever. So it's kind of a ripoff of a bunch of other Coldplay and Chainsmokers songs.

Todd: I like most of those songs. Yeah, you know, this song's alright. Even though the combination of Coldplay and Chainsmokers didn't really bring out any new ideas.

Chris: I want something just like this
Drop plays while a guitar solo also starts happening

Todd: Wait. Wait, what's this?

Chris: ... this

Todd: Holy shit. An EDM drop with a guitar solo?!

Chris: ...just like this

Todd (VO): This is awesome! That's fanta... I'm... I'm bumping my rating up like two or three stars here. Why haven't we done this before? More kick-ass guitar solos in EDM songs, dammit! Yes, yes, that's great. I am totally down.

Todd: You know what? (Thumbs up) Yeah. Yeah. I guess you're alright, Coldplay. Another year off the shit list. (Gives thumb up) Keep it up!

Todd gets up and leaves
Chris: Oh, I want something just like this
(In normal voice) Thank you, everybody. Thank you for dancing with us.
Video ends

Closing Tag Song: Tina Turner - "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)"


"Something Just Like This" is owned by Disruptor Records

This video is owned by me


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