James Corden is an apparent fan of the summer bop. So much so that the late night host challenged John Legend to a riff-off that put the summer bop up against the summer ballad during a segment on The Late Late Show.
“Whenever I turn the radio on now all I’m getting are like slow, boring ballads,” Corden tells the audience during the clip. “Are you experiencing this? I want to roll down the windows, I want to jam out. No one wants to hear some guy on a guitar crying about his girlfriend in the middle of the summer. It just feels wrong. Seriously, who would want to listen to a ballad when you could listen to a great summer bop? They’re so boring.”
“I heard you’ve been telling people bops are better than ballads,” Legend replies, arriving onstage with a microphone. “I feel attacked. It feels, like, kind of personal. For me, summer’s a time to slow things down.” He adds, “How about we settle this, right here, right now?”
For their ballads versus bops riff-off, the pair take turns singing various summer hits a capella with the help of The Filharmonic. Corden starts with the Jonas Brothers’ recent single “Sucker” while Legend croons a version of All-4-One classic “I Swear.” Corden also (hilariously) takes on Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” Legend even includes his own “All of Me” to help prove his point about ballads being best, much to the delight of the audience.
After Corden declares Legend the winner, Legend says, “Maybe there’s a world where the song of the summer is a ballad. We could combine the bop and the ballad.” The pair then team up for a finale of Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved.”