All eyes are on The Chainsmokers right now. Riding the success only from singles from 2014 until now, the EDM duo have a lot to deliver.
Titled ‘Memories… Do Not Open’, the 12 track record features multiple collaborations, including British rock band Coldplay, R&B princess Jhene Aiko, even country duo Florida Georgia Line. With names like that on a debut album, needless to say, expectations are extremely high.
The Chainsmokers have one sound. It’s cohesive, yes, but doesn’t push the envelope. It’s steady and level, all the way through. It sounds like one song that’s been recycled 12 times. It yearns for a crescendo, a scream, anything to break away from the vanilla song recipe the duo have created. ‘Break Up Every Night’ becomes the outlier, and in this case, the standout purely for its more danceable tempo.
‘Memories… Do Not Open’ is not enthusiastic. It would be great inside of a shopping boutique or as a noise filler at a dinner party. No one is playing these songs to belt them out in the car or at karaoke.
Not every track can be as capable of the radio over-play that ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and ‘Closer’ received last year. However, with first two singles ‘Paris’ and ‘Something Just Like This’ already hitting the airwaves, they may just be on their way. They’re the kinds of songs that you start out disliking, but because you hear them so often on the radio, they become embedded in the tissues of your brain until you do like them. That’s the magic of The Chainsmokers.
There also comes a realisation that this album is more enjoyable when played louder than any music should be played. If anything, the sheer volume is a welcome distraction from the predictable melodies and average vocals. The featured artists bring little to diversify its sound.
After multiple EP releases prior to ‘Memories… Do Not Open’, The Chainsmokers were more than primed to release an electric, energetic record. The repetition of sluggish tempos and monotone vocals strive to be some kind of ‘chill’ that comes off as apathetic and nonchalant. Have they stalled before they’ve started? One thing’s for sure, the metaphorical bar has been set at a level that can surely be surpassed in the future; leaving more than enough room to grow.
Images courtesy of The Chainsmokers’ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thechainsmokers/photos/a.198934573472274.48888.198933856805679/1039271239438599/?type=1&theater