Legends old and new, classic mythology and modern mythology, all have something to tell us about ourselves, our conditions, and our history. It’s the worldbuilding lore of real life, that thing you and I are a part of. It’s not just about superhuman feats, although that’s what people tend to focus on , for both good an ill. That’s the basis of the story being told in “Something Just Like This”, a collaboration between The Chainsmokers and Coldplay off of the Chainsmoker’s 2017 album Memories…Do Not Open.
The song itself isn’t about those legends but the unfair comparison the main character is making between himself and legends from Hercules to Superman. The music video seems to be telling a different story and if it wasn’t an official lyric video I might not have used it for this article series. However, there’s something charming about it. The only problem is they kind of get some of the legends wrong.
Interesting to see a kid cosplaying as the first superhero I ever created, but that’s for another time. He even has the Superman power set I originally gave him. Weird. I also like how “with some superhuman gifts” looks as if Superman or Hercules is bending the words. If you want to see how it was created, stay tuned.
If I understand correctly the Chainsmokers, a teaming of Americans Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, were big fans of the British-born band Coldplay, who apparently also enjoyed their music. When Pall and Taggart heard the band sometimes listened to their music before a concert, they reached out to form a team-up, “Something Just Like This” being the result. as the electronic musicians went over in a Facebook post about the full album.
Something Just Like This is about a relationship that doesn’t need to be superhumanly perfect, an ordinary love, a love everyone deserves like the boy on the cover art whose childhood memories are now boxed up. Coldplay is one of our biggest inspirations and this song was an absolute dream come true to make. The song, for the most part, was created during our first meeting with Chris Martin. We found some chords that everyone loved and then Chris plugged a mic into the PA in the studio and freestyled for an hour. This song was the result. We’ve never seen a song written in such a stream of conscious. It’s hard to maintain your identity when working with such an established artist but we feel this song is great balance between both us and Coldplay.
Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, portrays our hero, a man reading the stories of old and new mythology. And if you don’t think superheroes are part of a modern mythology you need to check out Professor Geek on YouTube. There are a few errors with the heroes mentioned however. “Control” seems to be the last thing Peter Parker has available since becoming Spider-Man as his life is often out of control. Meanwhile, Achilles isn’t really known for gold, but for being invulnerable except for his heel, which is where the term “Achilles heel” comes from. His mother dunked him into the river Styx but held him by his heel, his one weakness. King Midas is known for gold as a power, although he couldn’t touch anything he didn’t want turning into gold. That must have made going to the bathroom difficult. Superman only gets a mention for his costume and Batman for his fists, and those really aren’t the most important aspects of those heroes either. Hercules (which I keep hearing as “Achilles”) is known for his great strength, but it’s just listed as “gifts” (which come to think of it would also fit Achilles as he’s invulnerable, a mighty fighter, and if memory serves pretty good with a spear or arrow or something).
The point of the song however is that our hero is looking at these heroes and believing he doesn’t measure up, but then his lover (girlfriend or wife is not stated) tells him she doesn’t need that. She only needs someone she can love and in this he fits the suit just fine. She doesn’t need to live in a “fairytale”, when what she has makes her happy, and he’s the reason why. The thing is heroes of mythology, be it classic Greek or modern…I’d say DC but considering what DiDio and friends keeps trying to do to it you have to pick and choose when you check it. Anyway, the thing is these heroes aren’t inspirational because of their great powers, cool gadgets, or amazing abilities. It’s that they overcome overwhelming odds, that even if they knocked down they get back up and fight for the cause they believe in, and eventually persevere against great obstacles. They’re also good people who try to save lives and make the world better. This is what we take away from heroes both fictional and real. We don’t strive to have their abilities but their hearts and good nature. This is what I think she probably wants from him and he seems to be doing a good job.
The animation and the album cover for both the single release of “Something Just Like This” and Memories…Do Not Open were created by James Zwadio and his company Impossible Brief, who has worked with the Chainsmokers on other albums. He wrote an article on his own site, complete with pictures, about making the single’s album and this video below showcasing both. Sadly nothing about the animation for the video he directed. The animators listed on his Vimeo posting of the video are James Zwadlo (Lead), Elliot Howard, David Byrne, Max Italiaander, Ned Jackson, Abi Tomasiewicz, John Matta, and Max Volt Productions. Good job, folks!