Hot Chip has put out several really good dance records over the years, but I didn’t really love any of their material until 2010′s One Life Stand. The album didn’t exactly have enough going for it to justify the entire album, but there was enough to make for a very strong dance album.
Their new album, In Our Heads, might sound like the group refining their sound on first listen, but there’s plenty of stuff going on here that pop out after you give the album a few spins. The opening song, “Motion Sickness” gives a good idea of everything else ahead with the attention to sharp production and a distinct sound that brings LCD Soundsystem to mind (that is until a set of horns pops up).
Yes, Hot Chip spend a good amount of time on In Our Heads going for that eighties dance sound, and they do it fantastically. “How Do You Do?” and “Don’t Deny Your Heart” are great examples of this. And they even lift a Michael Jackson lyric for “Night and Day”. LCD Soundsystem’s style shows up again on the slow burning “Flutes” with some really punchy drums and it might be the best song on the album.
“These Chains” goes in for a nineties house feel that fits in very well, and “Now There Is Nothing” almost sounds like something from seventies pop. The closer, “Let Me Be Him” does go on for too long as can be too repetitious at times but it pays off in the end with the song shifting into a summery guitar hook.
In Our Heads is sure to impress many people with it’s simple approach, but what really makes the album good are is how catchy the album gets after a few listens. Hot Chip still has a few issues to work out in the vocal department, but with such stellar production track-to-track there isn’t much to complain about.
Rating: 7.9 out of 10.