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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


320 KBPS

Before The Warning, Hot Chip was poppy, but not exactly pop; their songs had clever ideas, but were missing the pieces they needed to really make an impact. The Warning brought those pieces together with a satisfying click, making the band's music immediate as well as pleasingly off-kilter. Made in the Dark isn't quite as big a leap forward as The Warning was, but it doesn't need to be — Hot Chip has already hit their stride, and now their pop machinery chugs along at full speed.
Made in the Dark expands Hot Chip's emotional range as much as their musical range, swinging from the funky, pissed-off "Shake a Fist" to the stream-of-consciousness pop of "One Pure Thought," a witty, wordy gem that comes across like Paul McCartney backed by New Order. Made in the Dark's main weakness might be its ballads, but that may just be in comparison to its many energetic moments, which are so addictive that it feels like a forced come-down whenever the band slows things down. On their own terms, however, "We're Looking for a Lot of Love" is luminously sad, and the title track's heartfelt simplicity and restraint is impressive. And while "Whistle for Will" and "In the Privacy of Our Love" end the album on a strangely sleepy note, their awkwardness might make them a little sweeter precisely because they're not slick. Without these ballads, Made in the Dark would have the ruthless perfection of a greatest-hits collection; as it is, it's just a very, very good album. Hot Chip has honed their skills so much and so quickly that they're almost unrecognizable from the band that made Coming on Strong just three years before. They're still a quirky band, no doubt, but now they're using those quirks to make their most accomplished album to date.

1. Out At The Pictures
2. Shake A Fist
3. Ready For The Floor
4. Bendable Poseable
5. We're Looking For A Lot Of Love
6. Touch Too Much
7. Made In The Dark
8. One Pure Thought
9. Hold On
10. Wrestlers
11. Don't Dance
12. Whistle For Will
13. In The Privacy Of Our Love

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