Review of Hot Chip’s ‘In Our Heads’

Hot-Chip-In-Our-HeadsIf you don’t know who Hot Chip is, then may I recommend you watch their video for their 2010 single, “I Feel Better.” That oddball music video, mixed with an awesome electro-club song and great lyrics, immediately put them on my musical radar. I dug into their rather extensive back catalog and found myself enjoying what they’ve put out so far (since 2005). That got me excited for what they could possibly bring into their newest effort In Our Heads. And with the explosion of electronic dance music integrating itself into pop music, I was almost expecting the boys of Hot Chip to change – or at least integrate itself into what’s being played now.

Instead, they made In Our Heads – an enjoyable electronic album that doesn’t stray too much from what made them special, but not enough to make it a must have.

“Motion Sickness” is a mid-tempo opener that sets the tone for the entirety of the album. The first single “Night And Day” is an entertaining electro dancefest that doesn’t let up. “Don’t Deny Your Heart” has a sort of tropical feel to it, incorporating steel drums and other sorts of sunny instruments.

One thing I wasn’t expecting is how relaxed I felt during and after the album. A lot of the songs features synth beats that are driving and upbeat – but not all of them do. “Look At Where We Are” is an electric ballad, making a rather dreamy down tempo listening experience. “Flutes” is also full of mellow synths that helps put you in a different musical state of mind. “Now There Is Nothing” is the middle ground between the other two tracks, still down tempo, but has enough substance there to make the song memorable.

However, I do have a problem with In Our Heads – it doesn’t have any extravagant moments. Nowadays, electronic dance music has THAT chorus or THAT hook/transition in the songs that would make whatever song it is extra enjoyable. In Our Heads, however, doesn’t have this (besides the chorus of “Night And Day”). Because of this, the album slows itself to a crawl emotionally, regardless of how fast the song is. Alexis Taylor’s vocals do not reach any of the highs that he put in Hot Chip’s previous works, and stays pretty mellow throughout. This doesn’t make the album boring mind you, just not as enjoyable as some of their other material.

In Our Heads isn’t a bad album, but stutters half way through. At almost an hour long (56 minutes to be exact), In Our Heads starts to drag after the first single and doesn’t really pick itself up for the rest of the album. However, it makes for some great background music while you’re doing some more pressing things. Hot Chip fans shouldn’t find anything wrong here, as it is another solid effort from the band. But don’t expect In Our Heads to breakout and be something anytime soon.

Final Grade: B-

Go Download: “Night And Day”

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