The Chainsmokers’ debut is catchy yet ironically titled
“Memories… Do Not Open.” The title of The Chainsmokers’ debut reads like a punk pop album title from the MySpace era. The angsty MySpace music of the aughts has been replaced by EDM laced pop these days, I think. As evidenced by popularity of groups like this one.
I’m trying to give The Chainsmokers a chance. I really am. I am having a hard time moving past the lyrics, though I have to admit the production and danceability is on point. Only three tracks in, I have a feeling the collaboration with Coldplay, which I admitted enjoying in our recent Crowd Sourced Review, will be the high point of the album.
Here are the lyrics for the chorus “Bloodstream” to give you an example of what I’m talking about:
I’m fucked up, I’m faded I’m so complicated Those things that I said They were so overrated But I-I-I-I-I-I, yeah, I meant it Oh yeah, I-I-I-I-I-I, really fucking meant it
This just feels like lazy and forced songwriting to me. I’m getting the feeling that The Chainsmokers are talented producers effectively forced into the pop world. If they are in fact writing their own lyrics, that shows.
But here’s the good news. The songs are catchy and the production is actually really cool. The pop hooks and composition behind each beat and melody is carefully crafted and creatively executed. I notice this a bunch in “My Type,” and “It Won’t Kill Ya,” the latter of which features Louanne, one of the top selling artists in France. This is an album that is bottom heavy, as is evidenced by these songs. “It Won’t Kill Ya” has the potential to be huge, and I vastly prefer this to the megahit “Closer.” Points given for a creative bass drop in the hook.
So why is this ironically titled? “Do Not Open” almost seems to function as a warning before listening to this album. I’m not saying you shouldn’t. It just depends on what you value, which is of course subjective. For the most part, I found the collaborations to be more satisfying than the standalone tracks, and I recognize the hard work behind the production of these songs.
Also, an EDM group collaborating with Florida Georgia Line isn’t something I saw coming at all. Yet oddly, it sort of works. It hearkens to what any old electrorock band might throw together.