Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Artists should not be held to their press releases, but after a couple of tracks of wimp-pop for disco-cum-dance clubs you have to wonder why the promo sheet on this album speaks of it being "awash with Hot Chip's trademark creative bravery and a searing emotional intensity from first track to last".
Sorry, bullshit on both counts.
This is clever and sometimes slightly interesting programmed pop which borrows from predecessors (no problem on that front) but is hardly groundbreaking on any musical level.
And brave? Emotional intensity?
Don't make me laugh.
Needless to say it will be huge: it frequently delivers clubby hands-in-the-air dance with some suggestion of the ache that Marc Almond brought to the genre (but not even close, sorry)-- but seems remarkably free of emotional committment, despite lyrics which in other hands could have actually meant something.
This -- for me, such things will hardly trouble clubbers -- is a major disappointment having seen these guys bring a roof down.
But this feels too calculated, too manicured and far too disengaged to even remotely refer to Northern Soul, gospel (oh pleeease!), Detroit House, Southern soul, Arthur Russell (double pleeease!) and Prince that they would have you believe.
Seems a shame that Charles Hayward -- who was in the genuinely innovative and creatively brave outfit This Heat -- should be co-opted into this (of his own volition of course).
A couple of good pop songs (the beautiful Brothers, which cries out for a cover) but mostly this is a thrill-free zone.
No, we shouldn't hold musicians to their press releases, but we should assume they read them and give them the tick off. In this case then they are deluding themselves if they believed we'd believe the claims it/they make for this rather superficial outing.