Hot Chip have proudly become the flag bearers for the geeky-dance generation; making themselves accessible to the kind of folk who probably never considered disco as viable genre. One thing that set them apart was their aloof persona as if they, like many others, disapproved of popular music themselves. So in that respect, ‘In Our Heads’ is a great leap from the dancefloor voyeur to the breakdancer taking centre stage.
‘Motion Sickness’ may feature ex-This Heat man Charles Hayward on drums but the song is as exuberant as a child’s fifth birthday party. The new style works too: ‘How Do You Do?’ may be irony free but it’s confident and immediately dance-friendly. ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’ commits all kinds of 1980’s crimes: tinny synths, steel drums and harmonies which border on high camp but the infectious qualities of the songs make it excusable. Nevertheless, after this breathless start to the record it’s a relief when the album breathes to allow Alexis Taylor to exercise his soulful self-doubt and the guitars ache obligingly in unison.
Towards the middle of the record it initially seems the wheels are starting to come off. After the bouncy ‘Night & Day’, ‘Flutes’ is an overlong and repetitive exercise and lacks the usual Hot Chip hook. Thankfully, it is just a blip and the three tracks which follow all excel. ‘Now There Is Nothing’ sounds like it’s going to turn into 10cc’s ‘I’m Mandy Fly Me’ at any moment and is all the better for it, ‘Ends Of The Earth’ is their new brasher direction at its dizzying hypnotic peak whereas ‘Let Me Be Him’ lets Joe Goddard’s deeper tones take centre stage on a happy/sad epic.
This is unquestionably Hot Chip’s most upbeat and – let’s not be shy about this – most “pop” album. There are a couple of times I felt that, by shedding some of their insecurities and outsider outlook, they could lose what made them special but by the end of the record, the new fun side of Hot Chip becomes as endearing and addictive as their previous records.
Hot Chip Official Site