The Chainsmokers — Memories…Do Not Open: A Review
I had really mixed feelings about doing this. I wanted to make this review because I thought that it would be funny and I could come up with some clever satire and jokes for whatever the hell Drew Taggart could “make” in 43 minutes. But as I sat there last night staring at the album on Spotify, I just couldn’t find the motivation to start it. I thought to myself, “Do I really want to subject myself to this?” The answer is yes, I did. I don’t know why I’m like this.
If you know me then it’s no secret that I am not The Chainsmokers’ number one fan. I believe that they are fine producers but do not make good music. They make good stems and there are hundreds upon hundreds of better remixes of their own work. They are good at marketing though and they’re sure as hell a lot more famous than I am.
Their debut album is called Memories…Do Not Open and was released April 7th, 2017. In 2016, The Chainsmokers released two EP’s with Bouquet (featuring Roses and Don’t Let Me Down) in February and Collage (featuring Closer, other songs that people heard once and were like “It’s not Closer” and Don’t Let Me Down again).
And this is where the review starts.
I’m going to attempt to break down every song on the album but there will be a summary at the end if you just want that.
The first track on the album is called The One and it immediately sets the tone for the whole album. The entire album could be summed up with this song because it features three things that almost every single song on the album has: a lot less electronic elements that you would find in literally any other electronic song ever, a more than healthy serving of Syracuse alum Drew Taggart’s voice, and said vocalist’s relationship issues.
The One is about “someone who is realizing that they’ve mentally moved on from a romantic relationship but don’t have the courage to end it in fear that they are making a mistake that will haunt them.” That’s a real quote from The Chainsmokers’ Facebook page. The song is quiet and and slow because it’s a ballad about how troubled Drew feels about his newfound fame and how it’s preventing him from making meaningful relationships. He tries to say that he didn’t choose fame, it chose him and as a result he’s a shitty boyfriend. Poor guy.
Up next we have Break Up Every Night. This song is one of the ones that you will probably hear a lot soon. The reason for that is because it is one of the only ones on the album that is fast and upbeat and might actually get a room dancing.
The song is Drew venting about a girl he’s dating who is driving him crazy but he loves her because the sex is good. This isn’t like an interpretation that I pulled out of my ass. There’s literally a line that says she “tries to fuck me back to life.” It’s really deep, I know. Maybe I’m not enough of an intellectual to understand Reverend Taggart’s preachings.
Jokes on me though because this is actually the best song on the album. I hate the lyrics. I absolutely do. I think they’re obscene and Drew just needs to break up with this girl already. But I can already tell that this will be played in fraternities everywhere and I might even need to download it in case it’s ever requested.
Song three is called Bloodstream and it’s about two different things depending on who you ask. If you ask The Chainsmokers, they’ll tell you it’s about how they learned to accept the fame that just found it’s way to them and how they were catapulted to stardom (which apparently they never wanted because otherwise why would they need to write this song?). But if you look into the lyrics you can see that it’s just a half-hearted apology for actions they took when inebriated.
I’m fucked up, I’m faded
I’m so complicated
Those things that I said
They were so overrated
But I-I-I-I-I-I, yeah, I meant it
Oh yeah, I-I-I-I-I-I, really fucking meant it
The drop is a copy/paste/slightly edited version of the drop from Roses. It actually might literally be the same but shifted in tempo and key to fit this new form of ART.
Next is Don’t Say. It’s the fourth song on the album and the fourth song about relationship issues. In this one, Drew plays the victim card and says “Yeah, babe. Sorry I’m an asshole to you, but I’m only human you know?” and says “No. Don’t say you’re human. That’s not a legitimate excuse anymore.” Well, yeah, of course it’s not. One of my friends who I listened to this with (Hey Kristen) said “I could see girls tweeting these lyrics” and I hate that she’s right.
Let’s talk about qualms for a little bit. At the end of Don’t Say there are 20 seconds of ~authentic studio time~ in which you hear The Chainsmokers and the vocalists fuck around for a little bit and Emily Warren blesses all of our ears with the following:
Okay, qualms, qualms
Qualms, qualms, qualms, qualms
Qualms, qualms, qualms, qualms
Thank you, goodnight!
There is no reason for this to be a part of the song and I didn’t want to hear it. I actually needed to take a break after this song because I lost all hope.
Next is Something Just Like This. A song that is credited to be featuring Coldplay but is actually just Chris Martin. But Coldplay will get more views, clicks, and money so it’s featuring Coldplay. What a monumental moment for electronic music. It’s another song featuring a protagonist who just can’t find love. He wants a normal relationship and not something super and mythical. The song is a disappointment since it’s just another version of Roses. Honestly I think I’m starting to become impressed with how many times they can remix their own song. Like I said, they make good stems.
Ugh. How much is left? Half? WE’RE NOT EVEN HALFWAY DONE?
Song number six on this musical adventure is called My Type. Jeez, I sure hope it’s not another song about a struggling relationship. Oh. My Type is about a lover who is in a failing relationship and is contemplating ending it but the only thing stopping them is that their SO is their type. It’s a really deep thing and you guys probably wouldn’t understand. I sure don’t. That Drew is really deep, huh.
The drop is new. I think? They’re honestly starting to blend together.
It Won’t Kill Ya is song number seven and I think it may actually be fucking terrible. If anyone likes this song please send me a message saying so and I’ll refer you to a therapist. The song is about seeing someone in a club or at a party and wanting to dance with them. It’s something all college freshman can relate to and something they’ll probably like to listen to.
I think what I hate about this song the most is how it constantly repeats “Dance with me, it won’t kill ya.” In case you didn’t know, that’s kind of fucked up. You should never be trying to persuade or guilt someone into dancing with you. It makes you look like an absolute asshole. If only there was a way to convey to reach an audience of millions to actually not do this. But instead, here we are, endorsing grinding. Good job, Drew.
It’s an attempt at a trap song that is left empty and minimal for no reason and as a result lacks the enticing hook that dance music typically has.
Paris. We’ve all heard it before because it’s played everywhere. It’s a fine song. I could show you 12 remixes that are better but maybe another time. It certainly does a good job of sticking to the theme of Drew Taggart singing about a relationship to a beat. He apparently wrote the song from the perspective of someone he knows who is struggling with a drug addiction and his drug addicted girlfriend and how everyone thinks they’re crazy but they know the truth.
Honest. Honest is about another song about how being famous has ruined relationships. In this one, Drew has just finished cheating on his girlfriend on tour and has been neglecting her so now he has decided to tell her the truth. He’s a really good guy.
The next song is called Wake Up Alone and it’s about questioning superficiality in one night stands and whether or not the person you spent the night with was only with you because you’re famous. The song itself is one of the more loud ones on the album and starts with an interesting beat with a lot of potential. The drop of the song falls flat though and is similar to the other “trap” songs on the album. It’s not really one that will get people dancing. The last 20 seconds on the album slow it waaaaaay down. They drop the tempo down and lower the voice of the vocalist so it all seems to progress at a snail’s pace. I actually really liked that part.
Young is about relationships and all the dumb stuff Drew did when he was younger. This song is definitely one of the better ones because I actually don’t mind the lyrics and the actual music is pretty good. It doesn’t really have a drop in the sense that a traditional electronic song has. It’s actually hardly electronic at all. This is a pop song.
The final song on the album is Last Day Alive. It’s a fine song. It doesn’t suck. Not very inspired but the production is solid.
This isn’t an electronic music album. It was made by a duo who pretends to be an electronic music group because they sometime throw in a drop they’ve already made and switch it up a little bit. This is a pop music album. And as a pop music album, it’s fine. It does it’s job of getting pop music listeners to move. I know this because while I was listening to it, Kristen was unintentionally moving her head to the beat and trying to sing along to a song she’s never heard before. It’s not a good electronic music album and all the songs that think they are electronic are uninspired and disappointing.
Highlights would have to be Break Up Every Night and Young because I could actually see myself playing Break Up Every Night for people since it’s actually like a song you could dance to. And Young was also pretty good. I don’t think I’d voluntarily listen to any of these again but I am looking forward to the remixes that will almost certainly be better.
If you actually read all of this, thank you. If you just read the summary, also thank you. I may not have had fun listening to the album but I enjoyed writing the review.