"Ride," performed by twenty one pilots / by Patrick Shea

Performer: "Ride" is currently #1 on the Pop Charts and #5 on the Hot 100. Their previous single "Stressed Out," from the same album, peaked at #2 on the Hot 100.

Writers: Tyler Joseph; produced by Ricky Reed

Title: One word.

BPM: 76

Length: 3:34

Structure: Verse / Chorus / Verse B / Chorus / Bridge?/ Chorus / Bridge?

Points of Interest:

1) This song was written by one person, and that one person is the band's singer. This is pretty unusual at this point in the pop market. The producer, Ricky Reed, has a ton of recent hits, but is not credited as a writer on the song for some reason.

2) The structure and arrangement are unique and ambitious in a way only possible, perhaps, with a single songwriter. The song tries to cohere a lot of disparate rhythms, textures, and genre elements in an overall structure that feels one step shy of through-composition.

3) The lyrics are free-associative/stream-of-conciousness. This isn't unusual in a pop song, but typically, the structures and overall form of a pop song help a stream of consciousness lyric cohere into an emotional impression, which can serve as the main idea of the song.

4) The singer really channels Thom Yorke in the bridge section ("I've been thinking too much"), and in that context, I wonder if this whole song is trying to channel "Karma Police," with its impressionistic lyrics, and distinctive second-act tail to the song. However, "Karma Police" works so well because it has a strong and familiar AABA structure leading up to the second-act. Each "A" part starts with the title "Karma Police," and two of the three "A" parts follow the title with the line "Arrest this man/girl," followed by a reason to arrest this man/girl. Even though the reasons for arrest are abstract, the idea and sentiment of the song remain clear and focused. When we get to the "B" part, the singer's menace is firmly established, and we are ready for the clincher line "This is what you get / When you mess with us." The song structure in "Karma Police" cohere the lyric's abstractions into a central idea or feeling.