“Dang-ju-zeh-mi” is an old Chinese proverb that, roughly translated, means “During a game, a spectator sees more than the players.” This is kind of how it’s worked for Hot Chip’s latest album.
By enlisting a producer/engineer (Mark Ralph) for the first time, they’ve been able to see their work from a whole new perspective – and in doing so have created their greatest album since their Mercury tipped ‘The Warning’, six years ago.
The resulting musical delight is no mean feat when you consider the band’s recent side-projects (Joe’s solo and 2 Bears work, Alexis’ About Group collaborations plus his work with Felix in New Build, not to mention Mixmag knocking Hot Chip out of the recent ‘2 Bears table tennis tournament’).
This joyous and colourful cocktail of sounds and feelings is testament to brilliant songwriting and glowing execution. The dazzling opening track ‘Motion Sickness’ has all the subtlety of the band riding in on an elephant’s back, despite the delicacy of Alexis’ signature vocals. ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’ is filled with head-spinning key changes, while recent single ‘Night And Day’ has all the energy of something from Basement Jaxx’ ‘Rooty’. ‘Flutes’ is a glowing ball of synth-souled energy with a chanting mantra that taps into your subconscious, ‘Ends Of The Earth’ is a blossoming tech-house driver which features Alexis’ best high notes to date.
While the upbeat tracks get you up, the more downbeat songs like ‘Look At Where We Are’. ‘These Chains’, ‘Always Been Your Love’ and ‘Let Me Be Him’, are as fragile as the hearts being sung about.
In total it’s an album that you’ll keep coming back to, from peak times on dancefloors or to perk you out of the duldrums. Prepare to get emotional and elevated in equal measures.
File under Sheer musical delight
Download ‘Now There Is Nothing’ ‘Let Me Be Him’ ‘These Chains’
Like this? Try Hot Chip ‘The Warning’ (EMI)