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Dance - Released April 7, 2017 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Memories: Do Not Open, the debut full-length from EDM-lite duo the Chainsmokers, is a calculated dose of millennial escapism that peddles the same sounds as their far more engaging EP work. Following Bouquet and Collage -- home to their megahits "Closer" and "Don't Let Me Down" -- Memories serves as evidence that the Chainsmokers might be better equipped for shorter releases. Even with the help of producer DJ Swivel and guests like Emily Warren, Phoebe Ryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds, Memories is just not that memorable. Over 12 songs that mostly sound the same with little to differentiate one from another, Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall shill a live-fast-die-young attitude that quickly grows tiresome (if listeners reach penultimate track "Young," where Taggart sings about wrecking a girl's car, almost fighting her father, and sneaking out to bars, the patience will likely have already run out). However, fans are probably not seeking depth and gravitas in a Chainsmokers album. Rather, they can rely on the duo for fleeting feelings of joy and bliss, no matter how overly simplified. The Chainsmokers' typical chords and drops are all present, carrying waves of naïve and sophomoric lyrics that stretch for profundity, like on "Bloodstream" -- one of the many electro ballads on Memories -- where Taggart sings, "I'm fucked up/I'm faded/I'm so complicated." It not only comes off as obnoxious, but the production itself is so similar to "Roses" (and "Closer") that listeners might be hit with an annoying sense of déja vù. There's plenty more MOR EDM to be had on Memories ("My Type," "Honest," and "Don't Say" for starters), but in terms of songs that actually stand out, there are just a few. Singles like "Paris" and the Coldplay duet "Something Just Like This" are undeniably catchy, especially the latter, which is a double-whammy of Coldplay's pure ineffable joy-rock and the Chainsmokers' patented drops. Two other standouts benefit from guest vocalists. On the Sam Martin co-write "It Won't Kill Ya," French singer Louane delivers a soulful and dramatic sequel to Daya's turn on "Don't Let Me Down," while R&B singer Jhené Aiko elevates "Wake Up Alone." This certainly is not one of the worst albums ever recorded; indeed, it has its moments of merit that hit the proper spots and deliver the intended dose of dopamine. However, as a cohesive statement worthy of an album's length of the listener's attention, Memories is lacking. With a pair of strong EPs behind them, the Chainsmokers need further practice before they can prove themselves to be an album act. Only a few songs have the necessary half-life that extends beyond the tracks that follow. On "Wake Up Alone," Aiko asks, "Will you still care in the morning/When the magic's gone?" Until there's more evidence to the contrary, the answer is unfortunately "no." ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Dance - Released December 14, 2018 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

Compared to their 2017 official debut, the Chainsmokers' sophomore album, Sick Boy, is more introspective, thoughtful, and emotional. It's also a vast improvement on the often precious (and, frankly, boring) EDM-pop of Memories...Do Not Open. For Sick Boy -- which was slowly rolled out in monthly installments throughout 2018 -- the duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart digs a little deeper, addressing their post-breakthrough critical and popular backlash and delivering something akin to substance. Everything is relative here, so while they're trying harder and shooting for more artistry, listeners should not expect Jon Hopkins or SOPHIE. Instead, consider this the Chainsmokers' attempt at emo-EDM. Hitting those self-pitying notes on contemplative moments such as "Somebody" with Drew Love, "Sick Boy" (which is unlike anything in their prior catalog), and the confessional "Everybody Hates Me," Taggart flexes his lyrical muscle and laments with clunky but vulnerable lyrics like "I'm so defeated/I just want this shit to end." Elsewhere, fans of indie pop acts such as Lauv, LANY, and the 1975 should find kindred appeal here, especially on pop-friendly highlights like "This Feeling" with Kelsea Ballerini and the delicately bright "Hope" with Winona Oak. For those in search of something heavier, the Chainsmokers deliver a pair of cacophonous floor-shakers with "Siren" and "Save Yourself," which include crashing dubstep drops and sonic stabs fit for dancefloor mosh pits. Finally, album standout "Side Effects" with frequent collaborator and co-writer Emily Warren is the deep soul of the album and also its best track. At the heart of it all, this set is dark, sometimes exciting, and a step in the right direction for the immensely popular but critically maligned duo. World-weariness and a troubled heart suit them well and managed to do some good on Sick Boy. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Dance - Released February 22, 2017 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released February 5, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released April 20, 2018 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

Following the success of their chart-topping 2017 debut album, electronic duo the Chainsmokers veered in a more contemplative direction for their follow-up EP Sick Boy. Striking an introspective tone on tracks like "Everybody Hates Me" and the title track, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart leave the drop-loving bombast behind in favor of an alternative pop sound similar to Twenty One Pilots. The four-song set debuted just outside the Top 50 of the Billboard 200. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Dance - Released November 4, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Collage, the second EP from electronic duo the Chainsmokers, compiles the pair's five 2016 singles, including their smash hits "Closer" featuring Halsey and "Don't Let Me Down" with Daya. Rounded out by equally shimmering electronic pop tracks with XYLØ, Phoebe Ryan, and Swedish singer Charlee Nyman, Collage debuted atop the Dance/Electronic chart and in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. "Closer" reigns as the most successful single of 2016, sustaining a near record-breaking run atop the Hot 100 for 12 weeks straight and topping the charts in no less than 15 countries. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Dance - Released July 29, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released September 18, 2018 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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House - Released June 16, 2015 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released January 13, 2017 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released October 23, 2015 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

It's hard to believe the group behind the garish EDM hit "#SELFIE" could grow into something more solid and significant, but that's just what happens to the Chainsmokers on the Bouquet EP, a more indie-flavored effort with some touches that are as elegant as the cover art. "Roses" is a stuttering, swaying beauty with the apt choice of ROZES delivering the vocals, then "New York City" comes on with soft, nocturnal deep house touches that are nowhere near that "#SELFIE" slam. "Waterbed" is closest to that early hit, although a cuter and quirkier version as if imagined by the Super Mario team at Nintendo. This diverse and free EP gives up more questions than it does answers, so think of them as clever teases, and then wonder if the Chainsmokers are EDM pranksters with an artful touch, or the forefathers of elevated glitzy indie bro pop EDM, or something to that effect. ~ David Jeffries
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Dance - Released July 8, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released February 7, 2019 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released September 23, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released January 1, 2014 | Dim Mak Inc

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Dance - Released July 25, 2018 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released April 28, 2017 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released September 29, 2016 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

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Dance - Released February 9, 2018 | Disruptor Records - Columbia

Following the success of their chart-topping 2017 debut album, electronic duo the Chainsmokers veered in a more contemplative direction for their follow-up EP Sick Boy. Striking an introspective tone on tracks like "Everybody Hates Me" and the title track, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart leave the drop-loving bombast behind in favor of an alternative pop sound similar to Twenty One Pilots. The four-song set debuted just outside the Top 50 of the Billboard 200. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
€1.49

Dance - Released August 5, 2014 | Dim Mak Inc