ALBUM REVIEW: Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Domino

Released: 18.05.15

More information on Hot Chip’s official website

 

Over the years, Hot Chip have managed to produce a meaty handful of indie disco floor fillers, from the infectiously repetitious Over And Over to the wonky pop of Ready For The Floor and 80s throwback synths of Don’t Deny Your Heart. When it comes to producing a full album though, they’ve always made records that are good but not great. The closest they probably got to making a truly great record was 2008’s Made In The Dark.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that Hot Chip have always suffered from a bit of an identity crisis; on the one hand they’re electro button-mashers making club bangers and on the other they’re sensitive troubadours making epic slow jams. Their sixth album Why Make Sense? attempts, and for the most part succeeds, in addressing this internal conflict while also being charmingly self-aware.

Lead single and album opener Huarache Lights, named after a line of sneakers, is surprisingly dense with sound underneath its minimalist surface, while Need You Now is more downbeat and darker than anything the band have produced in the past seven years at least. Both tracks build themselves on obscure samples from DJ Rashad and Sinnamon; a wonderfully nerdy touch. Cry For You masterfully combines sensitive lyrics with dancefloor beats, while the closing title track comes closer to being a rock song than anything they’ve produced before.

The only true torchlight anthem on the record, White Wine And Fried Chicken, is a blissful change of pace and, most importantly, doesn’t overstay its welcome. Unlike the sickly and turgid Slush from One Life Stand, White Wine And Fried Chicken condenses its sentiment into three minutes and lets Alexis Taylor’s sensitive vocals drift across luscious lounge piano.

It may have taken them a while, but Hot Chip have finally managed to produce the emotionally intelligent floor-filler they were always capable of.

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