When the fourth Google result for “chainsmokers new album” comes up as “Chainsmokers’ Memories’: Is this the worst album of 2017?” from USA Today — that means something. After several wildly successful singles — “Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Closer” — the Chainsmokers’s debut studio album “Memories…Do Not Open” was eagerly anticipated. But this album, which debuted on the charts at No. 1, and the Chainsmokers themselves, are yet more examples of mediocre white male success.
The 12-song set is filled with such forgettable tunes like “Break Up Every Night,” “My Type” and “Young.” Each song is filled with pretty white boy angst, along with some interesting lyrics. In “Break Up Every Night,” Drew Taggart speak-sings: “She wants to break up every night then tries to fuck me back to life.” With a beat that Hilary Duff did better in 2007, it’s pretty clear how well the rest of the album is going to go.
Taggart, half of the frat-boys-that-never-grew-up duo, is featured on six of the 12 tracks. His vocals are laughably bad, especially when compared to the generic but easy to listen to vocals of Emily Warren (“Don’t Say,” “My Type”), straining but soulful French singer Louane (“It Won’t Kill Ya”) and the established Jhené Aiko, Florida Georgia Line and Coldplay (“Wake Up Alone,” “Last Day Alive” and “Something Just Like This,” respectively). Most of us fell in love with the relatable lyrics of “Closer”; most of us also watched and listened in terror as he groped Halsey and meandered his way through a song that was somehow both too high and too low for him at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
All of their songs have to do with being in love, but more specifically, the sheer anguish suffered by the Affluent-White-Male-in-Love. Their edgy but not too edgy music is perfect for the duo’s target audience of ‘good’ girls and boys showing off their wild sides at raves and parties. I’m all in favor of letting these faux-ravers live, but The Chainsmokers seem to mock their audience endlessly for being dumb enough to like their music. But what do you expect from two stereotypical frat boys who never really grew out of their frat boy phase? I’m not going to pretend to understand the reasons for their actions, but when life hands you the lottery ticket to success, I say, “lucky you.” If that had happened to me, I’d be thrilled. But I sure as hell wouldn’t advertise my penis size on my website. And yeah, that happened.
It’s clear that the Chainsmokers found a successful formula with “Closer,” but “Memories” replicates that formula 12 times in a 43-minute set, leaving listeners to question: “Why in holy hell and they spend 43 minutes listening to the same song?” If it’s not to leave the most scathing review ever written, then I don’t know what to tell you.