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Monday, 09 July 2012 09:27

Album review: Hot Chip makes dance-floor melodrama on 'In Our Heads'

Album review: Hot Chip makes dance-floor melodrama on 'In Our Heads'
Written by Jessica Lackey
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Hot Chip
"In Our Heads"
Domino

If the electro pop of the '80s were to marry today's indie nu disco, their child would be Hot Chip. Don't worry, we won't get into the sanctity of their marriage.

Front man Alexis Taylor has a voice that is desperately melancholy yet attractively soft and falsetto in nature. Add in his love-charged lyrics with a mix of quirky beats and whimsical synths, and Hot Chip delivers bright dance tracks with amorous emotion.

The band formed in 2000 in London. Members include Taylor on vocals and keys, Joe Goddard on vocals, synth and percussion, Al Doyle on vocals and guitar, Owen Clarke on synth and guitar and Felix Martin on percussion -- a lineup that undoubtedly illustrates the band's multifaceted sound.

Since its formation, the quintet has recorded five studio albums, the most recent being "In Our Heads," which was released in the US just a few weeks ago.

"In Our Heads" as a whole is both uplifting and melodramatic, filled with infatuated passion and vibrant, dreamy beats, and maybe a touch of indie-style rock thrown in here and there.

The album's intro track, "Motion Sickness," emits layers upon layers of looped beats that build into one big dance party for your ears, while managing to maintain a mellow element with easy-going, buoyant vocals.

On "Look at Where We Are" Taylor's delicate voice is front and center. Matched with subtle, echoey electronica, humble guitar and poetic, tender lyrics, the track exemplifies the lovesick sentiment that runs through much of the album.

"Night and Day" is a clever blend of kooky beats that boink and bump along with loops of stacked, synthed vocals, giving the track a science-fiction meets "Party Monster" meets Atari vibe.

The album's single track, "Flutes," builds layers of chanting vocals that resemble children on a playground mixed with a buzzing but easygoing cadence and whistling undertones. The track then escalates into a hodgepodge of interweaving, head-bumping beats with pulsating lyrics.

Closing out the album is the electric ballad "Always Been Your Love," with a euphorically, bright and layered chorus that carries the track through modest beats and floating waves of guitar.

Permeating with bubbly beats, tricky key changes and troubled, love-drunk lyrics, "In Our Heads" leaves you feeling as though your crush has just left you stranded on the dance floor -- but it's okay, the dance floor still loves you.

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