Album Review: The Chainsmokers – Collage

By Marvin Dotiyal, Contributor

[Columbia; 2016]

Rating: 3/10

Key Tracks: “All We Know,” “Closer,” “Inside Out”

The DJ duo The Chainsmokers once again prove themselves to be mediocre artists in their latest release, Collage. In this five-track EP, The Chainsmokers bring in new artists as a lousy attempt to not only spice up the EP, but also to attract more mainstream listeners with up-and-coming artists. Everyone knows “Closer (ft.Halsey) and “Don’t Let Me Down (ft. Daya)” by now; it’s one of those overplayed songs in stores like Forever 21 and H&M, and that is probably the only acceptable occasion to have these songs played. In all seriousness, don’t expect a lot from this release; only a few songs are actually worth your time.

The key tracks worthy of attention are not the suggested singles, but “All We Know (ft. Phoebe Ryan)” and “Inside Out (ft. Charlee)” are not as bad. “All We Know” starts off with a gentle, electronic melody followed by a subtle buildup that prepares for the chill drop, which also turns out to be the chorus—of course, that’s the usual Chainsmokers formula right? The only real highlight of this song is Phoebe Ryan’s heartwarming vocals that blend well with the song.

“Inside Out” is possibly the best track on the EP. This track stands out because it’s different from the rest of the so-so tracks on the EP, and it’s actually bearable. “Inside Out” is an interesting track with a decent drop and trap influenced drums, and it can even qualify as a legitimate EDM track. This track ultimately shows that there is still some hope for the Chainsmokers and the future of electropop music.

Although Collage is not entirely terrible, it is unbelievably average. The Chainsmokers continue to produce what seems to be the 2016 formula of generic electropop music: predictable chorus melodies, snare drums substituted by snaps and claps, moderately soothing female vocals and half-assed EDM texture accompanied by cliché lyrics about some summer paradise. The Collage EP may have helped promote a selection of rising artists, but it lacks originality for embracing the most stale sound of today’s electropop.

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