I didn’t really mind The Chainsmokers at one point in my life. Full disclosure: I’ve danced to “Roses” a few times, even once on camera to win free VIP tickets to the band’s concert at the City National Grove of Anaheim last year.
But after listening to Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, the less-than-dynamic duo behind the band, sing about getting high on a couch for the 10th time, my distaste for their music started to grow exponentially. When I heard that their first album, “Do Not Open,” was set to be released April 7, my first reaction was a heavy sigh.
I should have realized what I was in for as soon as I listened to the first song on the album, “The One,” which starts with intensely auto-tuned vocals and a few half-hearted piano notes. The song aims to be a bittersweet, romantic ballad, but each profoundly simplistic lyric just makes you wonder why Taggart and Pall don’t pick up a thesaurus once in a while.
With each new song I listened to, I hoped that, perhaps, it would turn out to be more than a mediocre chord progression and the same words repeated multiple times before a disappointing beat drop. Unfortunately, I was being optimistic.
To convey an idea of how repetitive the lyrics are, one song, aptly titled “Break Up Every Night” features Taggart singing, “She wants to break up every night. She wants to break up every night. Don’t wanna wait until she finally decides to feel it. She wants to break up every night.”
However, the part of this album that hurt me the most was not the less-than-creative lyrics. It’s not the boring beats, or the poor vocals. No, it’s the fact that Coldplay, my favorite band from middle school, is featured on one of the album’s tracks, “Something Just Like This,” a vacuous bubblegum pop anthem about nothing in particular. Its first verse starts out with Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, singing about reading ancient legends and myths, then putting Batman and Spiderman in the same category as Achilles and Hercules. These first few lines of the song, unfortunately, are a representative of for the entire album: They don’t make sense.
The next song that I really disliked on this album is called “Young.” Or maybe it isn’t. I can’t really tell, because all of the songs on the album start with what seems like the same three notes. It’s a somewhat peppy track, laced with lukewarm acoustic guitar. The lyrics weave a riveting tale of someone’s car getting wrecked, sneaking out to meet at a bar and the singer getting beaten up by someone’s father. Sounds like a killer Friday night, right? Add in some weird vocals that sound astonishingly like a tone-deaf bird, and you’ve got yourself a song that somehow already has more than 4 million views on YouTube.
I’m going to close this review by acknowledging that I’m the minority with my intense aversion to this album. All of the new Chainsmokers songs that have been uploaded to their YouTube channel have about 11 million views combined, as of April 9. So don’t take my word for it. Listen to the album yourself. Just don’t dance to one of the songs, film it and post it on Facebook. That won’t end well for anyone.