17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"Hot Chip will break your legs, snap off your head",
This review is from: The Warning (Audio CD)
Genre-bending Hot Chip have not only released some of the singles of the year but possibly its best album. As with Gorillaz and Gnarls Barkley recently, mid-way into the 'noughties' we are starting to see some real wit and invention in pop music that may come to define the decade. The Warning finds them putting heart and soul into their curious mish-mash of folk whimsy, house and electronica. For all the sonics and low-fi trickery, and the comedy lyrics, there is beauty and genuinity shining throughout. Their songs are unconventionally tangential, with phases and subtexts, but pulled off with a playful insouciance that belies some of the technical brilliance.
After the abrasive aural assault of the opener 'Careful' is the brilliant single 'And I was a boy from school'. Its folksy swoon and off-beat lyrics are delivered over cheekily Balearic, Daft Punk-esque house loops to fantastic effect. Colours is a sweet, gracefully-building ballad with lovely twinkly electronic embellishments. The one-of-a-kind dancefloor masterpiece Over and Over is an obvious highlight and needs no introduction here, while (Just Like We) Breakdown is the kind of emotive electronic pop that Junior Boys might make if they had a little funk (and some backbone). The infectious but deeply silly 'Tchaparian' describes drunken flights over Timbaland electro-funk, but its multiple parts are jarringly uneven where its neighbouring tracks sustain their moods more economically. Look After Me is a soulful accoustic ballad, which totally gets away with its cheeky soppiness, while title track threatens to "break your legs, snap off your head" over a celestial groove.
Signed to DFA in the States, this album will inevitably draw comparisons between Hot Chip and the massively overrated LCD Soundsystem. But where James Murphy tries to beat you over the head with molten lumps of irony and knowingly "cool" musical referencing, Hot Chip win you over with charm and an English pop sense (of humour) and sensibility. Hot Chip don't take themselves too seriously, and it is this disarming humililty that makes them "cooler" than James Murphy could ever dream of. Fantastic.