The Chainsmokers have become infamously known as "that band" after 'Closer' and 'Paris' were played to death. While one of the most successful acts of 2017, with a successful debut album in Memories... Do Not Open, the duo's sound has always served as a point for which people could hate on them. No longer, however, as they're changing things up big time. The Chainsmokers tread into the alternative world with new song 'Sick Boy,' taking a new direction with a much more serious tone.
Right from the start of the song, you can definitely tell that they've abandoned a lot of what pasted them all over the airwaves. The reversed piano in the intro leads to a minimalist piano verse as Andrew Taggart somberly sings, "I'm from the East side of America / Where we choose pride over character / And we can pick sides, but this is us." This is a massive shift from their previous material that was all about being young and in love, and it's only in the first 20 seconds. The entire instrumental is notably devoid of a big electronic hook (while not absent of electronica, which adds a lot of depth in layers) and is much more reminiscent of Twenty One Pilots (in fact, this entire song is essentially just a poppier TØP song).
'Sick Boy' is a very bold move, and it's definitely a risk that's paid off for them. It's perhaps not as accessible as some of their other material, but it's real. Taggart sings of the divided cultures of America's east and west coasts and how he finds himself caught in between. The pre-chorus is incredibly dramatic and even urgent, dejectedly chanting: "And don't believe the narcissism / When everyone projects and expects you to listen to 'em / Make no mistake, I live in a prison that I built myself, it is my religion / And they say that I am the sick boy... We're united under our indifference." It's just shocking that the same duo that released 'Paris' at around this same time last year have come back with a completely reinvented, reinvigorated, and effective new sound.
The Chainsmokers tread into the alternative world with new song 'Sick Boy,' taking a huge step in a promising new direction. 'Sick Boy' is not slathered in a quest for youth or a build up to a huge hook. The electronics are subdued but move powerfully, and the instrumental swells and wades when it needs to. It may just be a bit too close to Twenty One Pilots to really develop a whole record based around, but it's proof that they're headed in a direction they WANT to head in, and not one they're required too, which is a very important decision to have made.
Rating: 86 / 100
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