Review - Hot Chip - In Our Heads
Hot Chip (for those unaware) are a seven piece indietronica/alternative dance troupe out of the UK. I’ve been a big fan of Hot chip for years now, especially their last album, which not only made my top 50 albums of 2010 list, but the lead single “One Life Stand” was on my top 10 favorite songs of the year list. It was really a great album, believe me.
I don’t only love Hot Chip, I really respect them. In a world where making pop or dance music can be ‘easy’ if you just follow the cookie cutter that top 40 has laid out for you, Hot Chip go way out of their way to create something fresh and original. Their music is at all times toeing the line between weirdly-offputting and irresistibly catchy.
‘In Our Heads’, the group’s fifth album, is everything we have come to know and love about Hot Chip, only this time they’re much more on the irresistibly catchy side than the weirdly-offputting. This isn’t to say that ‘In Our Heads’ is a mainstream album – certainly not – but rather for the first time in their careers, it doesn’t feel or sound like they are being conscious of their indie status. The group has proven themselves to be the go-to collective for alternative dance jams, so now it is just time to party.
‘In Our Heads’ is their most upbeat and excited record yet. Many of their past albums bounce between an unusual but gripping dance beat and a slow, introspective pop tune. What this album lacks in subdued moments it more than makes up for with a kick-you-off-your chair-and-make-you-dance kind of feel. “Motion Sickness” opens the album with horns and a general building sense. “How Do You Do” follows, showing that this album isn’t going to let you stop. Come to track three, “Don’t Deny Your Heart”, and it’s all over. 80’s synths shut it down completely, and the album is made.
Where religious followers of Hot Chip may be a bit concerned with how many people may love “Don’t Deny Your Heart” and the similarly-fierce “Ends of the Earth” can rest assure the band hasn’t lost a bit of who they really are. Slower moments like “Look At Where We Are” and lead single “Night and Day” (which is about as typical as Hot Chip-fare comes) will assuage any worries.
I’m a big proponent of taking pop and dance into new territory, and no one does this more or better than Hot Chip. Nothing they do has ever been done before, and I am still waiting to hear anyone come even close. ‘In Our Heads’ sees Hot Chip at their best combining with pop and dance at its simplest – just having fun.
I suggest you run out and grab it. Hot Chip has never made it very high on the US charts, and I would love to see this album place higher than any of their previous ones.
Listen to: “Motion Sickness”, “How Do You Do”, “Don’t Deny Your Heart”, “These Chains”, “Night and Day”, “Flutes”, and “Ends of the Earth”