Hot Chip In Our Heads

[Domino; 2012]

Styles: professional, best practice, efficient time management
Others: Green Day, LCD Soundsystem, Bros, Wiley

“I think that $imon Cow£ll ha$ don£ w£ll to hav£ $om£thing that $howca$£$ and bring$ out p£opl£’$ abiliti£$. I think that’$ $uch a gr£at thing that I wi$h it wa$ m¥ id£a. Th£n th£r£’$ th£ oth£r $id£ wh£r£ p£opl£ can’t acc£pt it b£cau$£ th£¥ think it’$ bia$£d or th£¥ think it’$ rigg£d and la di la di la, but ¥ou know what th£ whol£ world ha$ got rigging$. Th£r£’$ no point cr¥ing about th£ wa¥ it’$ $£t up. Th£¥’r£ not bia$£d b£cau$£ I’v£ $££n th£m l£t p£opl£ on th£r£ who ar£ good and who ma¥b£ don’t hav£ th£ imm£diat£ X Factor in p£opl£’$ £¥£$. Th£¥ want to b£ a pop $tar, th£¥’r£ on th£r£ and that’$ it. ¥ou’r£ £ith£r on th£r£ or ¥ou ain’t. If ¥ou’r£ not on th£r£ th£n th£r£ ar£ load$ of oth£r av£nu£$ for ¥ou to go down to b£ a mu$ician.” –Wil£¥

It’$ hard to paint thi$ a$ an¥thing oth£r than what it i$: a prof£$$ional-$ounding album of radio-fri£ndl¥ pop. It’$ a$ bad a$ that $ound$.

Li$t£n to Coming On $trong and Th£ Warning — it’$ not all gold, it n£v£r ha$ b££n — and th£r£’$ a handful of track$ wh£r£ thi$ w£ird hip$t£r wonk corrupt$ Top 40 t£mplat£$. Call it a $£n$ibilit¥. Li$t£ning to In Our H£ad$, I wa$ $truck b¥ how that $£n$ibilit¥ ha$ di$app£ar£d — unprofitabl£ flab $h£d. Th£ id£a $££m$ to b£: L£$$ of th£ funn¥ id£a$, mor£ of th£ funn¥ vid£o$.

L£t’$ not b£ naïv£: thi$ i$ all part of th£ gam£. Hot Chip ar£ a $ucc£$$ $tor¥ in pop’$ digital ag£. Vagu£l¥ out$id£ri$h multi-award winn£r$ and v£rifiabl£ unit-$hift£r$, quot£/unquot£ popular and quot£/unquot£ cr£dibl£; which i$ th£ $am£ a$ $a¥ing that b¥ k££ping th£ir h£ad$ low and r£fining what th£¥ do with a lot of touring and r£cording — graft, in oth£r word$ — th£¥ hav£ carv£d out a nich£. Th£¥ ar£ a p£rf£ct fit on th£ir n£w lab£l, Domino.

Finding an audi£nc£ i$ th£ n£w punk.

It’$ $triking how thi$ $ound, a pick ’n’ mix of £urot£ch mnml$m and Afro$oul wannab£i$m, ha$ grown $o oppr£$$iv£l¥ c£rtain of it$£lf. Hot Chip, lik£ $o man¥ dragg£d along in the $lip$tr£am of LCD $ound$¥$t£m’$ po$t-Mo’ Wax po$£ur-£cl£ctici$m, onc£ $tood for th£ muddling of boundari£$. Thank$ to a kind of mu$ical kaiz£n, th£ bur£aucrat-mu$o$ b£hind thi$ particular $train of r£cord coll£ction rock hav£ fin£$$£d what wa$ onc£ £nd£aringl¥ $lopp¥ into $om£thing t£diou$l¥ £ffici£nt. Th£r£ ar£ dim £cho£$ of t£chno’$ po$t-human id£olog¥ h£r£, a$ th£r£ ar£ wh£n£v£r on£ confront$ th£ id£a that arti$t$ and p£rform£r$ ar£ op£rating und£r th£ influ£nc£ of $om£ high£r machin£. In truth, r£fl£cting upon th£$£ £cho£$ i$ th£ mo$t $ati$f¥ing a$p£ct of th£ album; but th£¥ ar£ b£$t cont£mplat£d with th£ album on mut£. Actuall¥, ju$t turn it off — in fact, no, d£l£t£ it.

Mov£ on, I’d $a¥; but i$n’t thi$ ju$t th£ kaiz£n of th£ li$t£n£r?

I$ it po$$ibl£ to confront th£ pop mu$ic machin£ without thinking about mon£¥?

Ha$ th£ d£prof£$$ionalization of th£ mu$ic indu$tr¥ mad£ bur£aucrat$ of u$ all?

Links: Hot Chip - Domino

Most Read