Memories… Do Not Open Album Review
Released April 7, 2017
Genre: Pop, EDM
Let’s get the final verdict out of the way first and foremost: this sucks. Given our past reviews, it should not be any surprise how lifeless, dull, and un-imaginative The Chainsmokers are within pop music. What does intrigue me about one of the biggest names in pop music, however, is how drastic they have changed from the atrocious “#SELFIE” to here, their debut record: a collection basic, immature, shallow, and somber tunes that bank on a catchy hook more than effort and passion. The cheap attempts at “timeless” romanticism and reflections on regret and relationships have the same amount of depth as a Snapchat filter, and the effort of a Kidz Bop CD. Even their SNL performance’s set design reads off as a teenage girl’s tumblr wet dream.
“Paris,” a track that is not good by any means, but stands out among the pack immensely, holds the elements that I find interesting within The Chainsmokers’ career. The duo composed of Drew Taggert and Alex Pall are shifting the EDM/electro-pop scene away from the obnoxious drops of mid 2010s EDM, and popularizing somber, moody, and lush songs with a starry-eyed dramatic drop. While they are not the first to do this, it’s interesting to see how much of an effect they may have on the EDM scene. There are some pretty chords and samples here. They aren’t terrible musicians, and it’s clear they know what they are doing.
Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make this record good. There’s still a lot of basic emotional topics being explored here that require little to no thought – during and after. Behind the shiny presentation and aesthetic lies a record that BEGS to be taken seriously as meaningful music, and results in the most-laughable attempt at trying to connect with an audience on a deeper level. The Jhene Aiko feature is an awful attempt at spicing up the track-list, and the lyrics to “Break Up Every Night” come off as if written by an eleven-year-old f*ckboy. There is absolutely NO emotional depth to this, and the fact that the youth are romanticizing every dumb lyric these guys write, and following their every move, says a lot about what this generation views as meaningful and as great musicianship than anything else.
The album name says it all: “do not open.”
FAV TRACK: Paris (if i had to pick one)
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Break Up Every Night, It Won’t Kill Ya, Wake Up Alone (feat. Jhene Aiko)