The Hills

The Hills by krin.jpg

Date Aired
September 28, 2015
Running Time
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Todd plays "The Hills" on the piano

A pop song review

Todd: Okay, so, this is officially the year of The Weeknd.

Clip of "Can't Feel My Face"
The Weeknd: She told me, "don't worry about it."

Todd: Not like a year where you don't have to go to work, or where weekends are mega-important. No, I mean The Weeknd. [Poster for A Night With XO] The [struggling to pronounce...] Weeknd (pronounced "weakened")

Todd: God, that's a stupid stage name for one guy. I'm gonna start calling him The Wee KND.

Todd (VO): But anyway, you see this pineapple-haired Canadian here? That's The Weeknd. He sings R&B songs, and he's absolutely huge right now. He's had three Top 10 hits so far this year, one of which is currently sitting at #1. The Weeknd is on fire. [Line timed to match same moment as video] Ha.

Todd: Look, this isn't the first time I've encountered The Weeknd.

Clip of "Love Me Harder"

Todd (VO): You may recall I put an Ariana Grande song with The Weeknd at guest verse on my Top 10 list. Now it only ranked at #10 specifically because I did not like his portion of the song.

The Weeknd: So what do I do if I can't figure it out?
Ariana: You got to try, try, try

Todd (VO): Dude, if Ariana Grande wants to have sex with you...

Todd: figure it out.

Clip of "Earned It"

Todd (VO): He followed that up this year with his first real smash solo hit, "Earned It".

The Weeknd: 'Cause, girl, you earned it

Todd (VO): Yes indeed, madam. You have worked hard enough to earn my genitals. [Album cover of...] Now, this was off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and as far as I'm concerned, it fits perfectly 'cause...

Todd: ...well, it's sexy to somebody. To a lot of people, apparently...and I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Clip of "Wicked Games"

Todd (VO): See, the thing is, I was made aware of The Weeknd long before this year. He's actually been very popular in some circles. Not necessarily in the mainstream, but for people in the know. He makes these R&B songs that are just...

Todd: ...just really, really filthy.

Clip of Ty Dolla Sign ft. Wiz Khalifa and The Weeknd - "Or Nah"
The Weeknd: Pussy so good
Had to save that shit for later

Todd (VO): And people really like it. The Weeknd has been the music critic world's favorite R&B guy for a few years now. But I've tried, and I've tried, and I just do not understand the appeal.

Todd: And there's one big reason for that. I hate his singing.

Another clip of "Earned It"
The Weeknd: Yeah...
Clip of "Often"

Todd (VO): That nardless, leaking balloon of a voice he sings in is just unbearable. I would legitimately rather listen to Fetty Wap.

Brief clip of "My Way Ft. Drake and Monty"
Fetty Wap: Come my way

Todd (VO): Fetty Wap sounds like a walrus being punched.

Clip of "Earned It"

I've never really understood why people sing like this. I know this kind of high-pitched squeal was popular back in the '80s, and it made a comeback in the 2000s, but I don't see why. Do we really need another El DeBarge?

Todd: Every time I hear The Weeknd, I think, "wow, this guy [clip of ad for...] needs to upgrade to DirecTV."

Peyton Manning: And I'm really-high-voiced Peyton Manning, and I have cable.

Todd: What makes it worse is that he makes music that...well, as far as soundtracks for gettin' freaky go, he's got kind of a different take on it.

Clip of "Live For"

Todd (VO): It isn't smooth loverman stuff like in the '70s, or your more smutty hip-hop stuff like Jason DeRulo or Trey Songz. No, this shit is...dark.

Todd: Like, no quiet storm stuff for him. I would describe his music more vampire music.

Todd (VO): Like, if vampires were into R&B instead of shitty goth rock, this is what they would be into.

Todd: So The Weeknd is all like, "I'm dark and cold. I don't care about you or anybody. I'm just a [picture of black wolf] dangerous animal on the prowl. I'm like a [picture of vampire] sexual predator."

Okay, maybe that's bad phrasing. At the very least, he's better at it than Adam Levine.

Brief clip of Maroon 5 - "Animals"
Adam: Aah-oooooohhh!
Baby, I'm preying...

Todd: Still funny. But yeah, I can't ignore the guy since...

Clip of "Tell Your Friends"

Todd (VO): ...he's doing so well. And since he has a #1 single right now, I figured I should cover it. It's either that or pretend I care about that "Cheerleader" song at all. Well, let's...

Todd: ...get this over with. With his new #1 smash, here is The Weeknd.

Video for "Can't Feel My Face"
The Weeknd: We both knew we can't go without it
She told me you'll never be alone-oh-oh, whoa
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
[Todd is a little surprised, then gets into it]
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh

Todd: Okay, fine, actually, this is not so bad.

Todd (VO): Yeah, this is...this is kind of all right. I don't actually mind this.

Todd: Wow, I don't get the chance to do that many positive reviews. All right, well, let's go back and figure out why this one actually sort of works.

The Weeknd: And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb

Todd (VO): Okay, first off... [talking away from mic] Wait, what? What, no, no, I'm not. No, this is the #1 hit song by The Weeknd, "Can't Feel My Face". I looked it up! Oh, you've gotta be kidding me!

Todd: [sighs] Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed that this not actually the song I was supposed to be...

Todd (VO): ...reviewing. Apparently, this was last week's #1 The Weeknd song. And while this episode was being set up, that #1 song by The Weeknd got replaced by a new #1 song by The Weeknd.

Todd: Christ. You know, I was wondering why that song didn't sound like the [quick flashback to beginning of review] song I was playing in the intro. Yeah, right in the title, too. Pssh. I gotta pay more attention to these things. Okay, so this song is upbeat like the last one, right?

Video for "The Hills"
The Weeknd: I only call you when it's half past five
The only time that...

Todd (VO): Yeah, nope. Back to more moody, downbeat songs about doin' it. I mean, this one is called "The Hills". Beverly Hills, I guess, not that I'll ever be able to associate with anything but the snowcapped Canadian tundra.

Todd: Well, anyway, let's see how this goes.

Video begins, intercut with clips from the cursed video from The Ring

The phone rings

Todd: I'm not answering that.

The Weeknd: Your man on the road, he doin' promo
You said keep our business on the low-low

Todd (VO): Oh, good, a cheating song. I guess he's going for an amoral, unlikable, but irresistible sex god thing here.

Todd: Maybe he can pull it off.

The Weeknd: I'm just tryin' to get you out the friend zone
'Cause you look even better than the photos

Todd prepares to say...

The Weeknd: I'm just tryin' to get you out the friend zone

Todd (VO): What? What? What?

Todd: Look, I'm not one of those people who thinks "friend zone" is an inherently offensive concept. I do know that there are some [meme of...] whiny douchebags out there who complain about being friend-zoned, like having friends is the worst thing in the world. But as a neutral term, I think it's pretty useful. I've been friend-zoned, I've put other people in the friend zone, it happens. I'm just saying...

Todd (VO): ...if you're trying to be this dick-swinging alpha stud, you should probably not say things like, "we're in the friend zone." That's a term that instantly marks you as a loser, and I say that as a proud loser.

The Weeknd: 'Cause you look even better than the photos

Todd (VO): Wait a minute, "you look even better than the photos"?

Todd: Did you just meet?

Todd (VO): How are you in the friend zone? To be in the friend zone, first you have to be friends!

Todd: The definition of friend zone isn't "I haven't fucked you yet." [Stops to think about it] Although the way some douchebags use it, maybe it is.

The Weeknd: I only call you when it's half past five

Todd (VO): So,'s the hook, such as it is.

The Weeknd: I only love it when you touch me, not feel me
When I'm fucked up, that's the real me
When I'm fucked up, that's the real me, yeah

Todd (VO): He's lit and ready to screw. He's into having sex, he ain't into making love, and he only calls you when it's half past five, for some reason.

Todd: Come on, dude, what's wrong with a little afternoon delight? I mean, are you... Hey, wait a minute! Is he actually a vampire after all?! [Still image of The Weeknd] You know, some kind of Vampire Weeknd?! That's stupid.

The Weeknd: I only call you when it's half past five
The only time I'd ever call you mine

Todd (VO): Also, I...I thought they hadn't had sex yet. I mean, weren't you in the friend zone or something? But now you're talking about making booty calls like it's a regular thing.

Todd: I have no idea what the timeline of this song is.

The Weeknd: Imma let you know and keep it simple
Tryin' to keep it up don't seem so simple

Todd: Did he just say that he can't... nah, I misheard that.

The Weeknd: I just fucked two bitches 'fore I saw you
You gon' have to do it at my tempo

Todd: No, I was not imagining that.

Todd (VO): He was actually, literally warning her that he might not be able to get it up. He's already spent, plus he's drunk. Get ready for some intense and...

Todd: ...totally not awkward lovemaking, ladies.

Todd (VO): I mean, I assume he's drunk; he did crash his car there. I guess he could mean he's high on something else. Helium, maybe. But yeah, I guess it could mean he's on some other drugs. But [clip of...] if "Can't Feel My Face" was fueled by an exhilarating shot of face-numbing cocaine, "The Hills" is a gulp of mind-slowing cough syrup. I can imagine someone who didn't have a voice like Minnie Mouse pulling this off, but with The Weeknd, it just sounds slow and sleepy and stuporous.

Todd: But like I said, someone's into it. Someone likes this guy's voice and wants to hear him sing about having sexy Hills sex...or whatever the Hills is supposed to mean, am I right?

The Weeknd: Hills have eyes
The hills have eyes

Todd violently falls off his stool

Todd: What?!

The Weeknd: The hills have eyes

Todd (VO): "The hills have eyes"?! Do you even know what that is?! It's a [clip of trailer for...] goddamn horror movie, and not one of those PG-13 ones with a bunch of pretty teenagers either!

Todd: Man, I was just joking about the spooky horror stuff, but apparently, I was not.

Clip from movie

Todd (VO): I was not expecting this song to be a tribute to the late Wes Craven, I'll tell you that much.

Well, it's not a particularly well-conceived tribute, in any case. Like, there are sexy horror movies, but The Hills Have Eyes is not one of them. Do you even know why the hills have eyes?

Todd: Because they're inhabited by inbred, mutant cannibals. [Poster from movie] Is this the image you wanted to invoke? Really? No one wants to think about that. [Clip of "S&M" by...] That's like if Rihanna wrote her song about S&M and started singing about [picture of...] Leatherface!

Todd (VO): Okay, even if we ignore that, let's just somehow forget that he just referenced a profoundly un-erotic horror movie. Like, maybe he's using the phrase for atmosphere. But still, you don't want the hills to have eyes! Remember? She's cheating! She wants to keep her business on the low! She wants as few eyes on this as possible, from the hills or from anybody!

The Weeknd: Who are you to judge?

Todd (VO): I...okay, I'll give you that one, The Weeknd. She does not have any right to judge you, she's the one cheating.

Todd: Although, who are you to care?

Todd (VO): You present yourself as this "I don't give a fuck" player dude, and all of the sudden, you're awfully defensive.

Todd: Yeah, I just fucked two bitches; you're gonna have to go at my tempo...and don't hurt my feelings!

Todd (VO): This is just the weirdest goddamn song. You get this dark, menacing vibe, but then you get this guy who sounds like a munchkin, he presents himself as this badass ladies' man, and then he's all whiny, and then he invokes one of the most infamously gritty, ugly grindhouse movies in history. I don't get it. I don't get it, and I don't like it. I mean, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just don't understand what he's going for, but...

Todd: ...whatever that is, it is just not working. It's not working for The Weeknd. Heh. [Beat] Yeah, let's end on that. I'm Todd In The Shadows, and I'm out.

Gets up and leaves

Video ends

Closing tag song: Charlie Rich - "Lonely Weekends"

"The Hills" is owned by UMG Recordings, Inc.
This video is owned by me

The Weeknd: Hills have eyes
The hills have eyes

Outtakes of Todd violently falling off his stool

Picture of the overturned stool as the song plays in the background
R.I.P. Todd's Piano Stool
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