US dance duo The Chainsmokers have rapidly risen to fame following a handful of highly successful singles and a Grammy win along the way. After much anticipation, the band have finally unveiled their debut album Memories … Do Not Open.
The album is split into collaborations with rest vocalists and songs written solely by the group. The standout track is Something Just Like This, which features British rock group Coldplay. Singer Chris Martin adds dynamic vocals over fizzy synth chords to create a memorable chorus, before an echo-heavy guitar enters at the end. Wake Up Alone (featuring Jhene Aiko) is another strong song, with the best vocals, and it shows the band at their most atmospheric alongside glitch-driven kits, similar to FKA Twigs. Closer Last Day Alive, meanwhile, is an explosive anthem in the style of EDM pioneers M83.
Sadly, the other tracks don’t live up to this standard, often repeating the same chord progression and tempo over and over again. Young could easily be a Mike Posner song, while The One isn’t far off One Republic, but with more emphasis on rhythm. Don’t Say has a generic chilled Ibiza vibe, but it is redeemed by Emily Warren’s falsetto chorus refrain “Don’t say you’re human”. Honest is the lowest point, with a lifeless attempt at crowd ‘woahs’ alongside cheesy handclap samples.
Bar some above average lyrics and occasional synth sparks, The Chainsmokers’ debut brings nothing new to the table. It is predictable and formulaic, soon to be lost in the sea of soft, self-deprecating EDM.
Edited by Ginny Wong