Album Review: ‘Sick Boy’ – The Chainsmokers
Release Date: December 14th, 2018Label: Disruptor Records / Columbia Records
The Rundown: The Chainsmokers, the Electronic-Dance-Music pop duo consisting of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, released their ten-track sophomore album ‘Sick Boy’. The record features several artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Winona Oak, Drew Love, Emily Warren, Aazar, and NGHTMRE. The Chainsmokers wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks on ‘Sick Boy’, and their new music maintains the same upbeat, positive vibes that were introduced in their debut album, ‘Memories…Do Not Open,’ which was released in 2017.
The Pros: The album is definitely a massive improvement from ‘Memories…Do Not Open.’ It maintains heavy EDM influences, and all the tracks have uptempo, head-bobbing beats. ‘You Owe Me’ and ‘Somebody’ are the softest tracks on the album, and give off a relaxing summertime vibe.
There are, however, two main reasons that ‘Sick Boy’ is a great record. Firstly, the lyrics. The American duo address serious topics concerning identity and being true to oneself, a departure from the surface-level nature of their previous album. This is particularly apparent on the title track, ‘Sick Boy’, where the lyrics read, “Make no mistake, I live in a prison that I built myself, it is my religion.” The Chainsmokers continue to bring this issue to light in ‘Somebody’, where Andrew sings, “Only thing I can’t afford is to lose myself.”
Secondly, the variety. There’s essentially a track on ‘Sick Boy’ that suits every mood: chill, party, workout, and focus. A common issue with EDM music is that many tracks have similar beats and sounds, but the versatility of The Chainsmokers is apparent on ‘Sick Boy’ as no two tracks sounds the same.
‘Siren’ and ‘Save Yourself’ are definitely the most hype tracks on the record, and both contain intense crescendos leading up to a superb beat drop.
The Cons: Andrew’s vocals are lacking in a couple of the tracks, including ‘Hope’ and ‘Side Effects.’ I think both songs would definitely have a stronger presence with Andrew’s powerful vocals, especially in ‘Side Effects’ where they are completely absent.
Also, while definitely the loudest and most hype track on the album, ‘Save Yourself’ seems like it would fit better in ‘Memories…Do Not Open’ because of its frat boy vibe and obnoxious beat, which continues throughout the entire track. I assume that tracks like this will not appear on The Chainsmokers’ next album, as they seem to be departing from hardcore EDM music, and rightfully so because of their success in Pop over the past couple years.
Best Tracks: ‘This Feeling’, ‘Beach House’, ‘Somebody.’