The Chainsmokers carry themselves like a startup firm. They speak like finance bros, name venues “properties,” and have admitted getting laid is as a lot of an impetus for his or her profession as the rest. But Andrew Taggart’s songwriting has at all times stood at a proper angle to the crass commercialism of their overblown EDM-pop. He doesn’t write about senseless hedonism and all-night resort events however unglamorous hookups, yard brawls, and the sensation of strolling within the membership and pondering everybody hates you. They’ve neatly aligned their writing with pop-punk and emo, whose mainstream revival was simply underway when the duo put out their full-length debut Recollections… Do Not Open in 2017. It’s not for nothing that “Nearer,” their greatest and finest track, name-drops Blink-182—nor that Blink-182 would return the favor by showing on “P.S. I Hope You’re Pleased” from 2019’s World Struggle Pleasure.
The Chainsmokers’ fourth album, So Far So Good, is their first with no options, which could seem to be an inexpensive ploy for authenticity. The guest-heavy hits from Recollections had been as a lot triumphs of A&R as the rest, so what higher solution to show that you just’re an actual band than to ditch your well-known mates and do it your self? (Properly, not totally: Akon, T-Ache, and Chris Martin are credited songwriters.) But So Far So Good is their first album that appears to face exterior of the zeitgeist. Although they’ve chalked the album’s content material as much as post-tour burnout and despair, they haven’t yoked it to any prevailing pattern in confessional pop music however have as a substitute chosen to burrow deeper into their very own sound. It’s as in the event that they’ve remoted the important parts of the Chainsmokers type and reduce out the whole lot else. The result’s simply their most satisfying front-to-back pay attention.
The core Chainsmokers type, per So Far So Good, consists of chugging synthpop verses and sticky-sweet drops. Normally, these parts mix into songs that sound huge sufficient to dominate pop radio or hangar-sized golf equipment, but So Far So Good sounds weirdly…small. The dynamic vary is flattened, so the drops on songs like “Riptide” and “Maradona” really feel like a part of the track’s material quite than payoffs after countless anticipation. Songs meander and take the scenic route: “Maradona” slows down spectacularly in its second half, like “Nights” on steroids, whereas “Cyanide” concludes with greater than a minute of nebulous synths and garbled Auto-Tune. The duo may scoff at So Far So Good being their “pop” quite than their “membership” album, however that is their first album whose tracks may really feel misplaced at one in all their Vegas residencies.