Memories…Do Not Open…unless you want some epic edm

Memories

Have you danced to Chainsmokers’ new album yet?

Or if not danced, listened and became addicted?

DJ and producer duo Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall have made and some magic beats – with some collab help with other artists.

The duo put a creative spin on electronic dance music (edm). Electronic dance music functions on repetition – yes, music is the repetition of patterns – notes, rhythmic ideas and chord progressions – but electronic dance music features more than your typical pop or rock song.

Edm has taken the music world by storm over the past few years.

Doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The Chainsmokers have released EPs with fun dance beats.

Their smash hit Closer, a duet with Halsey, has spent time on the America Top 40 charts.

As it should. It’s a beautiful song that talks about love, teen angst and goodbyes.

The Chainsmokers have celebrated this and created an album featuring edm in all its glory.

Let’s take a closer look at Memories…Do Not Open – track by track:

(1.) The One

The song opens as a gentle ballad, vamping on a simple keyboard progression.

This vamp is the basis of the song, throughout verse and chorus.

A dance rhythm-progression serves as the pop drop before the song ends, fading out.

(2.) Break Up Every Night

An upbeat vamp opens this song, the lyric “she wants to break up every night” used in the verse.

Background vocals are used as echo effects throughout the song.

Fast and fiery.

(3.) Bloodstream

The song opens with a flowing instrumental dance beat, illustrating the song’s title in a beautiful way. A mid-tempo full-instrumental dance jam kicks in after the first chorus, creating a big-city vibe.

(4.) Don’t Say (feat. Emily Warren)

A high-pitched dance beat opens. The singing a few bars in, the low voice a beautiful contrast to the instrumentation.

Emily Warren’s voice rises about an octave in pitch above the verse melody during the chorus, followed by higher-pitched instrumentation.

The song is recorded in F Major and the songwriting brings a strong pull back to F Major-chord (the tonic chord, as it’s the first chord in that song’s key) throughout the song.

A minimalist approach to songwriting – and it’s a beautiful creative choice.

(5.) Something Just Like This (duet with Coldplay)

The song opens with a steady eighth-note pulse.

Feels like rock-crossover when the song hits the chorus and more guitars and instrumentation come in. It’s a fun classic already.

(6.) My Type (feat. Emily Warren)

The vocal melody is written in a way that lets the singers play with the words a bit. They sing slow enough that you understand each word clearly – and it creates a simplistic beauty in both the lyrics and chords.

The chorus features one line “You’re just my type”, followed by an instrumental vamp on two chords.

The final chorus features tight harmonies between the Chainsmokers and Emily Warren.

Emily Warren closes the song with her voice, singing “You’re just my type” just as the instrumentation dies. Beauty.

(7.) It Won’t Kill Ya (feat. Louane)

As Louane sings, background vocals are used as an effect during the verse. The chorus is simple and addictive – the lyric “Dance with me / It won’t kill ya” is sung three times – a great way to get a lyric stuck in your head as the guitars rock.

(8.) Paris

The popular Mid-tempo edm jam has been on the charts for a while. What’s not to love about this mellow, feel-good jam? With a fun pop-drop. Emily Warren sings a backup vocal throughout. The lyric “show them we are better” acts as a refrain in the verse and backup vocal. Catchy.

(9.) Honest

Great title repeated throughout the chorus, solidifying the song’s message: you’re not the only one on my mind / If I’m being honest.

I know I keep these feelings to myself

Like I don’t need nobody else

But you’re not the only one on my mind

If I’m being honest

If I’m being honest

You said I should be honest

So I’m being honest

The verse uses light instrumentation.

The drums, brass and strings all come in together for the chorus, amplifying the song’s message that if the singer’s being honest, the person he’s singing to isn’t the only one on his mind.

(10.) Wake Up Alone (feat. Jenhé Aiko).

A brass instrument – could be synth trombone or tuba – opens this number.

Synth strings sound on sustained chords as the song progresses – this backdrop to the vocals creates a dreamlike effect – like they’re underwater.

The singers sing at a moderate tempo.

The chorus alternates between vocal (“wake up alone”) and brass instrumentation. Like a mini-pop drop-but not quite.

The song modulates up a semitone into instrumentation after the final chorus and closes the song – pop drop – with a twist.

(11.) Young

The instrumentation is light, the thin strings adding to an upbeat feel in this number.

Rippling keyboard arpeggios are used in the verse, giving a shimmering effect.

High brass, strings and a drum track kick in when the chorus hits, illustrating the song’s message of “it’s hard when you’re young”.

The bridge gets quieter in volume and instrumentation, and rises to a crescendo for the final two chorus.

(12.) Last Day Alive (feat. Florida Georgia Line)

The intro opens on a capella singing for the first few bars.

A steady eighth note pulse starts playing, guiding the song to the verse. A mellow melody and dreamy soundscape with echo effects, synth strings, maybe cowbell and vocals used as background effects.

An anthem – “Now or never, it’s now or never / The last day alive”.

Beat by beat.

Note by note.

You’ll get addicted to the Chainsmokers and Memories..Do Not Open.

So go stream edm in all its glory on this album.

You’ll fall in love with every jam.

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