In a society where avid music listeners sometimes find themselves conflicted between a love of fast-paced club music and an appreciation of lyrical depth, British electronic-pop group Hot Chip has achieved the impossible. With its fifth album, In Our Heads, the group has produced dance music with genuine emotion.
The exotic, rhythmic beats of In Our Heads, coupled with lead singer Joe Goddard’s heartfelt lyrics and raw emotion, renders this new work a frivolous, fascinating listen that’s equally likely to satisfy your desires for dance, for dreams and, as unlikely as it sounds, for depth.
Hot Chip first came onto the electronic-pop culture radar with 2006 album The Warning, which garnered mass critical and popular acclaim, particularly for the infectious song “Over and Over.”
The record was ultimately shortlisted for the prestigious nationwide Mercury Prize and was named Album of the Year by British publication MixMag.
Since then, the group has performed in more than a hundred venues across the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe.
With In Our Heads, Hot Chip again captures the unique combination of rambunctiousness and relatability that made it an early fan favorite. The subject matter of most of the songs is typical of modern young songwriters: mostly love, sex and heartbreak. But the unusual diction and the similarly offbeat tunes make each song weird yet heart-wrenching.
The first song, “Motion Sickness,“ for example, is lyrically sound, but the playful beat is sure to entice you to dance along. The song is an excellent introduction to the album, providing a good sense of the album’s tone and overall quality.
The songs “How Do You Do” and “Don’t Deny Your Heart” continue to develop the album’s unique sound with its eccentric background beats.
The standout song, however, is most definitely “Flutes,” the only song on the album that exceeds seven minutes. Though lengthy, “Flutes” is the most memorable. As lead singer Joe Goddard croons, “One day you might realize / that you need to open your eyes,” it becomes clear that the song is, in essence, a soft, melancholic ode to the confused and to the lonely.
The only shame lies in that the album does not end on its high notes. The last song “Always Be Your Love” is not a bad choice to send off listeners, but it is more of a typical ballad, failing to inspire any true emotion.
Despite a lackluster finish to the album, the band’s development in finesse, in style and in heart renders In Our Heads a success. The album has already gotten stellar reviews from critics in the U.K. and in the United States, and it is sure to garner more.
With In Our Heads, Hot Chip achieves a rare feat, music that captures the pain, joy and heartbreak of life — yet still lets you dance.