A lot of people seem a little too fixated on the hype that Hot Chip received last summer and have had one listen and grumble because it isn't the best album they've ever heard.
Hot Chip take dated electro music; think kraftwerk, depeche mode and plenty of early 90s stuff, update it, soften it a touch and then repackage it in a much less pretentious way. Their is no big idea, no style that listeners attach themselves to, just some really nice, smooth electro tunes. The fact that they produced most of the album in a bedroom seems hard to believe at first but makes a lot of sense when you become conscious of the band's unassuming nature.
Tracks like 'Colours' show a very melodic side to hot chip, the vocal mixes and soft keyboards make for a really upbeat and mellow song. The flipside would be a track like 'Over and Over', one of the anthems of last year. Catchy, sexy and very club-friendly. Other highlights are the thoughtful 'Boy from School' and the beautifully sleepy title track. Through these songs they show their variety, going from almost rocky riffs through tinkling glockenspiels, Daft Punk house beats and entwined vocal melodies. What you are left with, though, is a very original brand of smooth, almost sleepy electronica.
Although Hot Chip are fantastic, it is true that this isn't an 'amazing' album. Tracks like 'Careful' seem awkward and whilst they are blatantly well-written, don't quite fit with the rest of the album. It's frustrating because it gives you a real taste of what Hot Chip are fast becoming but also reminds you that they aren't quite there yet. If all goes to plan you can't help buf feel that the next album should be pretty spectacular.
And for anyone who has heard a couple of tracks but doesn't really get what the fuss is all about; give them a proper go. I find that their music grows and expands with every listen.