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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hot Chip - 'In Our Heads'


Domino; 2012
Our Take - 8.3
Written by Kyle Talbot June 23, 2012

Sometime in between their first release and 2012's latest In Our Heads, Hot Chip has become a serious affair.  Liking Hot Chip has always been easy-- their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, four on the floor dance grooves, goofy persona's, and their make 'music for music's sake demeanor', but somewhere along the line they've grown into a seriously influential and powerful electronic music force, and a band that is easy to love.

Their maturation was apparent on 2010's outstanding and masterful One Life Stand.  Without dropping their humor or wits the Hot Chip started writing songs about serious topics like love, religion, devotion, and commitment.  The Trend continues with In Our Heads-- on mid-tempo house-y jam, "How Do You Do?", the lyric, "A church is not for praying/ It's for celebrating the light that bleeds through the pain,"is emphasized and stands as a motif or statement of purpose for the album.  The just under 8 minute, "Let Me Be Him," drifts and sways through layers of warm and atmospheric pop and features outstanding vocal contributions from both Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor.  The track stands up with the best of the band's material and is the highlight of the album.  Then there is, "Night and Day," a 'sweaty' dance groove with a memory searing breakdown that has them at their funkiest since, "Shake a Fist." 

I don't know exactly know how or where In Our Heads will fit into Hot Chip's discography especially considering the now classic, The Warning, and the masterful, One Life Stand.  Without question, it stands as their most colorful album to date (not just considering the cover art), and it is certain to get better and better with each spin.  If one thing is certain it is that Hot Chip has asserted their relevance as a band.  The beauty is that they have done so without trying to be relevant, cool, important, or anything that they are not. 

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