Sorry by krin.jpg

Date Aired
March 17, 2016
Running Time
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Todd plays "Sorry" on the piano.

A pop song review

Todd: Okay. Justin Bieber...again.

Clip of "What Do You Mean?"
Justin: What do you mean

Todd (VO): Look, I do try to space these things out, you know? I already reviewed a Justin Bieber song pretty recently; I think I covered his career path pretty well. [Clips of "One Less Lonely Girl"...] Started out obnoxious, [..."Boyfriend"...] hit puberty, became a completely different kind of obnoxious, [...footage from TMZ over his legal issues in 2014...] disgraced himself in a lot of embarrassing ways, [...and "Where Are Ü Now"] recovered, and he's now successful again. Yeah, you remember. There's no reason for me to go back to the well this quickly, and I usually need to recharge my disgust anyway.

Todd: Or at least you'd think, but...honestly, I feel like I have to do this.

Performance on The Ellen Degeneres Show
Justin: Is it too late now to say sorry

Todd (VO): One review is not going to cover it. There is entirely too much Bieber in the world today. Bieber is to pop music today what [picture of...] smog is to China. [Clip of live performance of "Love Yourself"] He has three singles in extensive circulation, all three of which have hit #1. This is not just a Bieber comeback,...

Todd: is now a Bieber onslaught.

Video for "Sorry"

Todd (VO): And I really wanted to review this song in particular, "Sorry." Or, as the Canadian Bieber pronounces it...

Todd: "Sore-y."

Todd (VO): It just holds this fascination for me that's only increased over the past few months. I mean, I've already glanced at it a few times. I even made it an honorable mention on last year's Worst list.

Clip from The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2015
Justin: Is it too late now to say sorry
Todd (VO): Being honest, I actually don't mind this song at all. In fact I honestly kinda like it. It's just...
Todd: Christ, Bieber's such a shit!
Todd (VO): My god, Bieber, you're such a terrible human being!
Todd: What the hell is wrong with you?

Todd: [one little laugh] I take it back. What you just heard there, I take it back.

Brief clip of TMZ footage of Bieber

Todd (VO): So let me explain. I said in the last review that, in the wake of scandal after scandal, Bieber's newer singles have an unmistakable meta quality to them.

This is the most obvious on "Sorry," which, on a literal level, is about a romantic relationship, but has been understood by everyone as Bieber apologizing directly to his fans and the public for the six billion embarrassments he piled up between 2012 and 2014, and the public has lapped this apology right up. They forgave Bieber with wide, welcoming arms.

Todd: And that includes, I gotta say, me.

Todd (VO): Look, you know me. I am loath to praise anything Justin Bieber does because I find him so profoundly uncharismatic. It took me months to admit that I actually liked "What Do You Mean?" But "Sorry"? I don't know what to tell you. Despite my resistance to Bieber and my distaste for him...look, there's just no way around it. It is just a fantastic-sounding song.

Justin: Sorry

Todd (VO): I love everything about the production of this. I love that riff, I love the percussion.

Todd: It's...I mean, look.

Clip of "Pillowtalk" by...

Todd (VO): Zayn from One Direction has a new solo single out. It's tearing up the charts right now, and I cannot for the life of me remember how it goes. It goes in one ear and out the other.

But the first time I heard "Sorry," I was humming it for days. So, you know, "Sorry"'s gotta be doing something right; I took to it immediately.

Todd: What genius of pop music made this hot-ass beat? [Pictures of...] DJ Mustard? Timbaland? Kanye?! Who?!

Clip of Skrillex ft. Sirah - "Bangarang"
Sirah: Bangarang (Bass)

Todd: [Wiggles a little bit with his mouth slightly open] Didn't see that coming.

Clip of performance on Yahoo as "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Crazy Lady sample: Call 911 now!

Todd (VO): Yes, Skrillex, the wub-guru himself. Not the first Skrillex and Biebs collaboration; [brief clip of "Where Are Ü Now"] Biebs was on a Skrillex song last year. But that was undeniably a Skrillex song, first and foremost. It was lumpy and strange and distinctly non-pop. I can't imagine it would've been a hit without Bieber involved. I mean, that was such a strange moment. It was like if [brief respective clips of "Bull in the Heather" and "Hold Me" by...] Sonic Youth did a collaboration with Menudo. I mean, it did grow on me,'s a weird song. Maybe that's just me. I just still find it hard to think of dubstep as pop in any way, so I did not think that Skrillex could really work in a real mainstream context.

And "Sorry" proved me absolutely wrong, so I salute you, Skrillex. You may look like [meme captioned "Son, I am disappoint." over picture of...] Danzig's embarrassing teenage son, but I'll give you this.

Todd: You actually got me to like a Justin Bieber song. [Beat] For a couple weeks.

Another clip from Ellen
Justin: You know I try but I don't do too well with apologies

Todd (VO): To be clear, the part I needed to take back was the part where I said I liked it. I just cannot stand this song anymore. I am emphatically not taking back the part where I said Bieber was a terrible person. Suffice to say that the pleasures of "Sorry" have proved fleeting, while its flaws are bone-deep, and that's no one's fault but this little shit right here.

Todd: Yeah, this was basically the opposite of [brief clip of...] "What Do You Mean?" which grew on me the more I listened to it.

Todd (VO): My first impression of this song was that it was douche-tastic, and every subsequent listen revealed even more douchey shit that I missed. No matter how much I appreciate all the work involved, there's just no getting over the fact that Bieber is just this unlikable little turd-baby of a human being. In fact, he's always been that. [Clip of trailer for Justin Bieber: Never Say Never] I watched his stupid little tour documentary. He says almost nothing. They don't interview him once, and it's still really obvious that he is an odious little brat.

Clip from the actual movie
Mama Jan Smith: The bigger part is that he's 16 years old and he doesn't know when to shut up.

Todd (VO): Which, you know, honestly, of course he was; he was 15. But I think he's run out of time where he can use his age as an excuse, [clip of performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon] especially now that it's bleeding into his actual music. I mean, that's the tragedy of it. He's an honest-to-God artist now. He's not just a little kid singing whatever his handlers put in front of him; this is a deeply personal song where he owns up to all his flaws and tells you, the loyal listening public, how deeply regretful he is for this and this and that and that and this. This is a look into his soul.

Todd: And it's so bullshit!

Todd (VO): It is the most comically bullshit apology song I've ever heard, and doing this job, I have heard...

Todd: ...tons upon tons of shitty apologies. This one is the worst.

Clips of "Sorry" by...

Todd (VO): Worse than that time Buckcherry whined their way through a bad Seether impression; [..."Sorry 2004" by...] worse than the one where Ruben Studdard tried to give a blanket apology for an entire year of fuck-ups; [...and "Sorry, Blame It on Me" by...] worse than that time when Akon just said straight up that he wasn't actually sorry at all!

Akon: Cause I’ll take that blame
Even though the blame’s on you

Todd: Worse than all that!

Todd (VO): Also, as you may have noticed, unfortunately there is no Justin Bieber in the music video. That's how insincere it is. He couldn't even be bothered to deliver the apology himself. Which is unfortunate, cause to get the full effect, you really need to see the lyrics coming out of his slimy, weasely little mouth!

Todd: So to make up for that, I am going to put up a "Douche-o-Meter" [...which appears on the screen as he speaks, complete with a picture of Bieber's face] and go through each lyric line-by-line so you can probably get a gauge on how insufferable each part of this is. [The Douche-o-Meter disappears] Heh. Okay, let's start it off. Take it away, Justin!

Justin: You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty
The Douche-o-Meter immediately registers at 100% DOUCHE, eventually shorting out and powering off.

Todd: The...the douche-o-meter's busted. Already. He...he broke the scale with the first line! Christ!

Justin: ...all of my honesty

Todd (VO): Look, I really hope I don't have to explain why this is a bad way to begin an apology.

Todd: "When I called you a fat, disgusting bitch, I was just being honest! You get mad at everything, I can't even talk to you!" Hey Bieber, remember how you [Brief clip of Fox News report of when Bieber...] egged your neighbor's house? "You gotta go and get angry at my enthusiasm for redecorating!"

Justin: You know I try but I don't do too well with apologies

Todd (VO): Boy, you ain't kidding, Biebs. And, there's only like a handful of reasons that anyone is bad at apologies. Either it's because you're a dick, or...

Todd: ...I dunno, you have a horrible speech impediment or something. And unfortunately, Bieber, your words are coming in loud and clear! [Gives thumbs up] Eh...

Todd (VO): Then there's the chorus.

Justin: Is it too late now to say sorry
'Cause I'm missing more than just your body

Todd (VO): God, that's such a clunky, badly written line. took me a little bit to figure out why, but I think I have it now. I mean, listen.

Justin: ...missing more than just your body

Todd (VO): "Missing more than just your body." See...

Todd: ...these are the words of a guy who...knows what the wrong answer is, just not necessarily the right one.

Todd (VO): "I want you back 'cause I miss your...not your body."

Todd: Hey, Bieber, where were you the night of the murder?

"Why, I remember I was definitely at...not at the victim's house between 12:45 and 1:30, then driving to the river to dispose of the murder weapon!"

Justin: Is it too late to say sorry now

Todd (VO): And for what it's worth, yes, Bieber, it is too late to say sorry.

Todd: It was not too late 38 seconds ago, but then this happened.

Justin: You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty

Todd: So eat shit.

Todd (VO): Also, I really can't stand the way he's singing this.

Justin: I hope I don't run out of time. Could someone call a referee?

Todd (VO): For the first time since his voice changed, I've gone from being meh to his singing to actively disliking it. This low breathing thing he's doing, I have no idea what he thinks he's going for there. Mostly, it just sounds like him mumbling his way through an apology he's being forced to give by his parents or something.

Justin: Can we both say the words and forget this

Todd: "Look, I'm really sorry that I did all these things. Can we just move on?"

Todd (VO): Even the melody for the chorus makes him sound sarcastic.

Justin: Sorry

Todd: Sorry! Excuse me!

Todd (VO): I mean, he sounds like the most repulsive little puke-stain in the history of humanity! Oh, my God, I hate you, Bieber! I hate you so goddamn much! Go drown in a burning oil spill!

Todd: That was a little much, I'm sorry. [Beat] Genuinely sorry, unlike some little piece of... Okay, this is starting to get away from me a little.

Todd (VO): Like, this song started so far into the negative that it was never going to recover, but...I guess the rest of it is...

Todd: ...not so awful.

Justin: I know you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice
And by once or twice I mean maybe a couple of hundred times

Todd: Eh, self-deprecating humor, that's always a good look.

Justin: 'Cause I just need one more shot, second chances

Todd (VO): Okay, well, by your own statement, this would be your couple hundredth chance, but...

Todd: [exasperated sigh] know what? Fine. Second chances, everyone deserves a second chance.

Justin: I'll take every single piece of the blame if you want me to
But you know that there is no innocent one in this game for two
Douche-o-meter shoots up to 10000% DOUCHE, then explodes

Todd: What? I...I thought it was...the douche-o-meter wasn't even on!

Todd (VO): So yeah, the point is that Bieber is insufferable. It must have taken epic restraint for him to [image of...] not name this song "Sorry Not Sorry." The bigger question is, why are people buying it? 'Cause they usually don't.

Todd: The public usually rejects public apologies like this. Like...have you been following what happened to Robin Thicke?

Clip of Robin Thicke - "Get Her Back"

Todd (VO): Shortly after "Blurred Lines" came out, he got caught cheating on his wife, and then tried to make a public apology with a whole album about how sorry he was, named after his ex-wife. And I gotta be honest, I listened to the album, and...

Todd:'s not that bad.

Todd (VO): It was just his bad luck that he was stupid enough to frame a decent record as a creepy act of emotional blackmail, so it set historically low album sales. Nobody wants that.

Todd: And that's who this reminds me of. But you know who it reminds me more of? Chris Brown.

Clip of Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes - "Look at Me Now"
Chris Brown: Let's go

Todd (VO): Nowhere near as bad as actual violent felon Chris Brown; but as artists, they're very similar people.

Todd: I never hated Chris Brown more than...

Clip of interview on Larry King Live

Todd (VO): ...when he was trying to apologize because he just so obviously didn't mean it.

Todd: Immediately after "the incident,"

Clips of "Crawl"...

Todd (VO): Chris Brown released his whole album of dickish, disingenuous apologies, and guess who bought it. Nobody. The world rejected it en masse, and Chris Brown's career looked done until he reinvented himself as [...and "Loyal"] a completely unrepentant asshole, which...I get why that worked. I certainly wish it hadn't, but I do get it. Society likes people who go through life without apologizing.

Todd: I mean, look at R. Kelly. That's...

Clips of "I'm a Flirt Remix" ft. TI and T-Pain and "Ignition (Remix)"

Todd (VO): of the worst people in music; one of the worst people alive possibly. He peed on a 14-year-old girl. He peed on her! That happened! And did he ever apologize? No! Not once! He just kept balling harder than ever, and his career only got bigger!

Todd: Holy shit! I can't believe that actually happened, but it did! We just like unrepentant assholes.

Todd (VO): And yet Bieber actually deigned to apologize. He openly asked for forgiveness, and he did it in the laziest, most punchable way possible, and it went to #1. I...I guess 'cause the production is good.

Todd: Like I said, I liked it too. Is this my fault?

Todd (VO): I don't even like Bieber; how did I get sucked in by this?! I wanna spray this song with Lysol! Christ, now I am sorry.

Todd: Well, let me make up for it right now.

Todd (VO): Bieber, apology not accepted. It's never gonna be accepted. If you want real forgiveness, tie yourself to a post and invite people to come up and hock loogies in your face.

Todd: And until then, you can take this phony, blame-shifting BS and shove it up your ass! [Sarcastic] Sorry.

Gets up and leaves

Justin: Is it too late to say I'm sorry now?

Closing tag song: Timbaland ft. OneRepublic - "Apologize"

"Sorry" is owned by Def Jam Records
This video is owned by me


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