Reviewed by James Lavender
You can never criticise Hot Chip for not being experimental, and again with their newest album Why Make Sense?, they have been pushing the boundaries of indie, RnB, hip-hop and dance music. The band caught the pop world’s imagination with their quirky mixture of indie pop and dance from albums such as 2006’s The Warning and 2008’s Made In The Dark, which featured the hit single ‘Ready for the Floor’. Back on those albums, the band had a sort of chop-and-change feel to the records which made them stand out, by which I mean two distinct genres of music would be vying for prominence and the chaotic results defined Hot Chip’s sound.
Why Make Sense is a more polished and refined effort than The Warning or Made In The Dark. Yes, there is still that music melting pot, like on the first song ‘Huarache Lights’, which is nice piece of futuristic funk. Likewise, ‘Cry For You’ and ‘So Much Further To Go’ have deep soul roots. The band has always maintained an appreciation of Prince and it certainly comes through in these songs. But Hot Chip takes some unlikely influences, particularly waltz on ‘White Wine and Fried Chicken’ and the album even has its own ballad in the form of ‘So Much Further To Go’. I really enjoyed the 90s dance music influences on tracks such as ‘Need You Now’ and ‘Started Right’, which any child of the 90s would appreciate.
Hot Chip have managed to craft an album which is both futuristic and soulful. Although it doesn’t have any songs which would make you get up, dance or go crazy about, it is an album that is worth taking your time listening to, maybe before a night out to get you going or after a night out in order to unwind. Either way it is certainly an album to be savoured from one of the most creative bands in British indie music.
Recommended song: Love is the future