Performer: This is the first #1 on the Hot 100 for The Chainsmokers.
Writers: Andrew Taggart, Shaun Frank, Frederic Kennett
Title: Yet another one-word title, and a pretty common one-word title at that. Other major artists who have used this title include Tegan and Sara, and Nine Inch Nails.
Structure: Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Chorus
Points of Interest:
1) The structure and arrangement of this song are both fairly unique. The song starts with an ambient instrumental fade-in that then snaps to a sparse beat and lead vocal. The fade-in can be a risky move, but it works here both to set the tone of the song and to get the listener's attention. The chorus has its own internal structure (prechorus, chorus A, chorus B), which has been common for chorus structure recently, but The Chainsmokers twist the structure a little here by making the chorus A arrangement a drumless synth crescendo that snaps into a more typically full chorus arrangement for the chorus B section. The chorus B section has very little lyrical content, and is equally all about the synth line, if not more so. Also, the song doesn't have a bridge or a breakdown. Instead, we get two chorus sections back to back at the end of the song. I think it's a testament to The Chainsmokers' skills as arrangers that they can pull off a double chorus ending without things getting boring.
2) The chorus B part of the song has an incredibly catchy lead synth hook, mixed pretty high. The synth hook is one of the major strengths of the song. Interestingly, the chorus B section also contains the should-be title of the song, "We ain't ever getting older." That isn't a great title, but it is certainly the centerpiece of the lyric both in terms of repetition and placement, and in terms of the song's main idea. The song isn't really about these people getting closer, except in the literal sense of this one encounter in the back of a car.
3) The featured artist, Halsey, is really more an equal duet partner than a featured artist. The distinction is significant in terms of a continuing trend toward producers/writers becoming stars in and of themselves.
4) For a pop song, the song feels incredibly white. We're talking about Boulder, CO; Blink-182; and Tucson, AZ. We're talking about moving to the city in a broke down car. The song feels like a pop act pushing into the country market in the same way the Sam Hunt feels like a country artist pushing into the pop market.