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.