Latest Album Reviews: Chainsmokers, Tinie Tempah, Arca, Deez Nutz, Booka Shade.
Read ‘em and reap.
MEMORIES …DO NOT OPEN
US duo Chainsmokers’ first hit, 2013’s Selfie, was spectacularly awful. The sort of thing you’d imagine Paris Hilton would drop in her DJ set. That bad. They’ve morphed from a NQR LMFAO to a hybrid of Calvin Harris and Coldplay — dance music for Adele fans. Which is an improvement. Two songs written with pop hitmakers (Don’t Let Me Down and Closer) became massive pop hits. Foolishly, neither is on this debut album but they’re certainly the template.
Chain man Andrew Taggart (his partner doesn’t write a thing) promoted himself to main singer. He sings with the prowess of Paris Hilton DJing. Taggart’s everyman vocals would fit Blink 182 (Young sounds like Blink mated with Daft Punk) but they grate here. The One is a dance downer (U2 meets Dido), Bloodstream slows down the Closer formula. Those Major Lazer chorus parodies are getting tired: the BiLo Diplo chorus on Wake Up Alone dates before your ears.
Break Up Every Night is the best thing here — energetic ’80s new wave that sounds like actual fun, not calculated EDM. Last Day Alive has country act Florida Georgia Line trying to be Bon Iver on a song written by an Imagine Dragon — they hit as many demographics as possible.
They shamelessly aim for cred even if it’s by association — Bono (speaking on Honest) and Coldplay (on Something Just Like This) both appear here.
At least they can aim for something beyond generic./CAMERON ADAMS
Sounds like: the last gasp for corporate EDM
In a word: safe
Here’s the rest, you’re the best:
Hit us up on twitter to talk turkey (is that still a saying? #neverforget #gobblegobble)
Originally published as Latest Album Reviews