World War Joy
In 2018, The Chainsmokers made some changes. First, they switched up their sound—shifting from big, bubbly dance pop to electronic-tinged emo tunes—and then, their methods. Instead of dropping an entire album all at once, the duo released their second album Sick Boy one song at a time, bending the release schedule to match their creative process. That approach worked, so they adopted it again for World War Joy, their third full-length LP. Tonally, it falls somewhere between their bright-eyed debut and brooding follow-up—there are songs with Kygo (“Family”) and blink-182 (“P.S. I Hope You’re Happy”) here—and includes the synth-pop smash “Who Do You Love” with 5 Seconds of Summer. But it also serves as a reminder: Even though The Chainsmokers are known for unexpected collaborations and blissed-out party cuts, they are, at the end of the day, gifted producers with a keen sense of melody. The album’s only two tracks without guests, ”Push My Luck” and “Kills You Slowly,” are the most clear-eyed and immersive: conversational lyrics, romantic earworm melodies, and clever production that lets each verse breathe.