Elec­tro-pop

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Emily Ritchie

Mem­o­ries ... Do Not Open The Chainsmok­ers Columbia/Sony Amer­i­can elec­tronic pop duo the Chainsmok­ers have gar­nered sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­na­tional suc­cess in re­cent years for their dance-lite beats and lyri­cal brand of reck­less aban­don and con­scious self-dep­re­ca­tion. It’s a style that mem­bers An­drew Taggart and Alex Pall con­tinue on their de­but al­bum, Mem­o­ries ... Do Not Open, a much an­tic­i­pated 12-track re­lease with note­wor­thy vo­cal con­tri­bu­tions from Emily Warren, Jhene Aiko and Cold­play’s Chris Martin.

The pair’s mon­u­men­tal sin­gle Closer, fea­tur­ing vo­cal­ist Halsey, was the long­est run­ning No 1 sin­gle on the 2016 ARIA chart so it’s safe to say there were high hopes for a ful­l­length al­bum from the New York duo. The re­sult is dis­ap­point­ing and te­dious. The Chainsmok­ers have failed to in­vent or evolve, re­ly­ing heav­ily on repet­i­tive song for­mu­las and a drab midtempo pace that does noth­ing to hold the lis­tener’s at­ten­tion.

A few of the songs, such as Don’t Say and Paris, are im­pres­sive, but th­ese are sig­nif­i­cantly damp­ened by the rest of the al­bum. Almost ev­ery track opens with brood­ing pi­ano that crescen­dos into puls­ing synth beats, in­ter­spersed with var­ied dy­nam­ics. It’s a proven for­mula, but is con­trived and mo­not­o­nous on a full-length re­lease. At times the lyrics touch on pain and re­gret, but they’re largely ju­ve­nile and su­per­fi­cial. Clearly the Chainsmok­ers know who their au­di­ence is, what they want, and the for­mula that will sat­isfy them. For some, Mem­o­ries ... Do Not Open will be mem­o­rable. For oth­ers, per­haps it’s best not to open.

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