Something is Chairlift’s second album. While I hadn’t heard of this synth pop group from Brooklyn before this album, I did check out some of their older singles. From what I can tell, the departure of one of their members had a major impact on their sound.
Something starts out with a new wave, 80s synth-pop sound. The first single, “Amanaemonesia” gives you a taste of this sound. The second single, “Met Before” – which in my opinion is the best song on the album – is a departure from the rest of the album.
Something takes a hard shift in sound for its second half, slowing the pacing down and putting the focus on the lead singer. Other than the singles, none of these tracks stood out. These indistinguishable tracks will likely be ignored in favor of the few gems.
As I mentioned before, my favorite track from Something is “Met Before.” Compared to the rest of the songs, it adds a faster paced and stronger drum beat to the synth pop mix, has vocals that remind me a bit of Emily Haines of Metric, and it is probably the most radio friendly (i.e. catchy) song on the album. This song was my introduction to Chairlift, and I was a little disappointed not to hear more like it.
Party goer opinions
The first track on the album, “Sidewalk Safari” was pretty much universally disliked by all of the party goers. This makes me wonder why Chairlift decided to lead the album with this song. However, after getting past this track, people thought the album was ok and even liked a few of the songs. Two of my friends, entirely independent of each other, told “Sidewalk Safari” made them think of the Saturday Night Live skit Sprockets, which featured Mike Meyers as disaffected German new wave talk show host dancing/voguing to bad electronic music.
Tim: “The first tracks reminded me of a happier Nico, combined with The Shins. Then it got real 80s, real quick. It sounded like there were lasers going off in the background. It was a weird shift. I didn’t like this sound.”
Adam: “I hated the first track, it reminded me of [the SNL skit] Sprockets. I liked the cheesy 80s sound. It reminded me of New Order. It was smooth, I don’t like abrasive things.”
Lauren: “‘Met Before’ is clearly the star of the show. ‘Frigid Spring’ sounded psychedelic. All in all, I thought it was a cohesive album. It sounded similar enough that you could tell it was part of one work, but it had enough differences between songs to keep me interested.”
Verdict: It was a mixed bag without a consensus. People each had different parts of the album they liked. “Met Before” seemed to be the most liked song on the album. I recommend checking out the singles from Something, but can’t recommend the rest of the album.
While not touched on in the review, if you liked Chairlift’s previous work, you might not be into this album because it sounds vastly different. Proceed with caution.
Stand out track: “Met Before”
Music Videos from Something