Track Review: The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, ‘Something Just Like This’
The Chainsmokers drop another potential hit with “Something Just Like This,” assisted by alternative darlings, Coldplay.
Sometimes, it’s important to switch things up. For The Chainsmokers, switching things up keeps things fresh. Sure, the duo had enough big hits during 2016 to “float a boat,” but becoming formulaic can happen quickly. “Paris” wasn’t a complete shift for the duo, but it made some changes in regards to the production. Their latest single, “Something Just Like This,” is a more pronounced switch up.
The first surprise with “Something Just Like This” is the featured artist – Coldplay. Typically, up until this point, The Chainsmokers have collaborated with female singers. This is a common feature of electric music for some DJs, and to this point, that’s been the M.O. for Alex and Drew. Now changing the lead from a male other than Taggart is a clear departure.
How does Chris Martin handle lead duties? Honestly, there are similarities in tone to Drew, given his lower register. Martin is the better vocalist, but in some sense, it’s as if The Chainsmokers both left its comfort zone, yet didn’t go too far from it. Martin sounds respectable, but he soars more in falsetto as opposed his lower register. That’s missing from this record, particularly given its enthusiasm on the chorus. To his credit, once he ascends into his middle-upper register, he has more bite and power.
As far as the sound of “Something Just Like This,” ultimately, it has the expected characteristics of The Chainsmokers’ production style. That means there’s exuberance on the chorus, led by synths, and driving rhythm throughout. Interestingly, the beginning of the record doesn’t sound dissimilar to “Closer” or “Paris,” at least in regards to rhythmic identity. Like previous songs by the duo, the production is sound – no major arguments or nitpicks.
How does “Something Just Like This” stack up ultimately? All in all, it’s another enjoyable Chainsmokers record. Adding Coldplay amps up the hype machine, but the record itself doesn’t necessarily live up to the hype of the collaboration itself. It’s not a dud by any means, but it’s also not transcendent or other-worldly. The collaboration is successful, not game changing.
The Chainsmokers • Something Just Like This – single • Columbia • Release: 2.22.17
Photo Credit: Columbia