Release Date: Jun 13, 2006
Record label: Astralwerks
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Electronic
Despite looking like five trainee chemistry teachers, Hot Chip have managed to deliver a second album that gives bleak electronica some much-needed heart and soul. Veering between the laid-back subtlety of the opening track, Careful, to the funk-soul mash up of Over and Over, with its quirky lyrical homage to repetition ("Like a monkey with a miniature cymbal"), the London ravers bring together the brash and the understated in a way that's as innovative as it is pleasurable. Occasionally, things take a misguided turn into the 1980s, as on the bleeping and rather slack Tchaparian - but that's a small, forgivable folly in an otherwise fantastic collection of nu-dance.
Keeping their hot streak of spotting quality artists when they hear them, the good folks at DFA welcomed to their already diverse and talented roster Hot Chip. The "Over and Over" teaser single featured the band in rocking fashion, complete with DFA signature production and a chorus courtesy of Alexis Taylor that sounds hauntingly similar to something Paul McCartney would write had he been paying attention to the music of the youth in his own backyard. A definite departure and a step in the right direction over 2005's inconsistent full-length Coming on Strong, Hot Chip's creative maturity is immediately evident in the energetic opening.
Hot Chip, for anyone unfamiliar with their music, is a group of five guys from London who make home-recorded electronic music inspired by Prince and R. Kelly, among others. That description, I’m sure, might lead one to conclude that Hot Chip’s records are either an all-too self-conscious joke, or a totally sincere train wreck. A quick glance at some of the song titles from their debut album, Coming On Strong, would seem to confirm the idea that it’s a joke.