The Chainsmokers fail to evolve in ‘World War Joy’


Photo courtesy of Flickr/Julio Enriquez

Kaitlin Wong, A&E Editor

Electronic DJ duo, The Chainsmokers, released their third album, World War Joy on Dec. 6. The duo, composed of Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart are known for their hit “Closer,” featuring Halsey. The Chainsmokers have long been criticized for their repetitiveness and poor vocal abilities, and this album gives validity to those criticisms. There is no joy, or much else, in World War Joy.

The album starts off with “The Reaper,” a track featuring Amy Shark. The track is a change from what’s expected of The Chainsmokers. It has a much more sinister and intriguing sound in comparison to The Chainsmokers’ typical sunny sound. However, it has some glaring problems. First off, the track is far from cohesive. It switches from a section filled with soft guitar melodies to a section hammered with bass. Secondly, it features some of The Chainsmokers’ most beloved lyrics: random noises. The line “Am I in your way-ay-ay? Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah” was utilized 10 times throughout the track. That means “The Reaper” consists of a total of 20 ay’s and 50 ah’s. Sadly, “The Reaper” was not the only track that suffered from the plague of random noises. “Takeaway” had 48 yeah’s and 36 na’s. The Chainsmokers need to try harder.

Following “The Reaper,” The Chainsmokers immediately fall back into their usual role of being generic. The darker sound completely disappears and is replaced with their usual upbeat sound. It’s obvious that The Chainsmokers wanted to create a very sweet song when they created “Family,” which features Kygo. However, it’s just so painful to listen to. It felt like they Googled “quotes about family” and copy and pasted it into their song. For example, Taggart croons, “ I know some people, they would die for me/ We run together, they’re my family.” In addition to the dull lyrics, the track is just boring. The track starts with soft, bland verses and builds up to an equally bland drop. Unfortunately “Family” is far from the only track that is subject to this tragic format.

The only memorable track in the whole album is “Who Do You Love,” featuring 5 Seconds of Summer. The reason why this track is so much better than the others is simply that it doesn’t sound like a song by The Chainsmokers. The members of 5 Seconds of Summer provides all of the vocals, giving a well-needed reprieve from Taggart’s. Also, the track has more feeling than the rest of the album. The lyrics depict a man confronting his spouse’s infidelity and the track successfully creates feelings of hurt with impactful crescendos and strong drumming. “Who Do You Love” catches listeners’ attention since it’s the only song with some style and feel.

It’s easy to say that The Chainsmokers really struck out with World War Joy. The album fell flat in terms of lyrics and production rather than being dynamic. None of the songs were catchy, which is what The Chainsmokers have capitalized on to become successful. If you need some background music, this album is it.