"Careful," the opener to Hot Chip's latest offering, The Warning, starts off with some fuzzy M83 synth which leads into Basement Jaxx-approved beat overkill with multi-tracked incantations for vocals. As odd a combination as that may sound, the feat is performed expertly by these British buzz machines. The white boy soultronica they dabbled in on Coming On Strong has been refined on their latest effort, a concoction of emotion, dissonance, and dance.
Their disso-dance is in full display on "Colours," which shows the band's true, um, style with a breezy IDM beat with some hills and dips to keep the listener absorbed while they figure out whether to shake their hips or just bob their head. Regardless, their stylistics, at varying points of the album, can appeal to purists of every genre. The romantic and summery "Look After Me" brings adult contemporary music to the hipster crowd and it leads into the delicate Dntel-esque blips of the title track. Obvious standout track (and first single) "Over and Over" is pummeling in its danceability, stacking layer upon layer until the orgasmic ADD house chorus both mocks vapid lyrics of dance songs while creating its own. Ironic? Of course. Funky? Oh yes.
The only pratfalls to the record are when they sound much more derivative than inventive. "So Glad to See You" seems sent straight from the Postal Service and "Arrest Yourself" recalls a Basement Jaxx b-side being smothered with a pillow to the point that it struggles to breathe. These points occur at random spots in other songs, but they are quickly cut through with sharp and memorable sounds. The Warning is a document of sincere amalgamation littered with its influences, but their very influences are inventively recycled into a fresh - and occasionally bootylicious - melting pot of tunes.
Release date: June 13, 2006
Label: DFA Records/Astralwerks
Rating: 7.8 / 10
On the web: http://www.hotchip.co.uk/
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