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Hot Chip - In Our Heads

More than anything else I wanted to love this album. In the weeks leading up to its release I spent precious seconds tweeting about my excitement, I overplayed all their old records and marked the date firmly in my calendar in brightly coloured pen. When the time came, I was camping, and had to wait till I got back. Finally I sat down, smelling of bush smoke, soaked the bone and exhausted, and threw it on. And cried a little. Because for me, it took a listen or two. Once I’d gotten over the initial shock and perservered through my third listen then whole album just came together in a way I had no idea was possible.

I will qualify this review by saying that I am a massive Hot Chip fan. I’ve seen them twice, and live they are one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure to take in. Made In The Dark was my breakthrough record, I listened to it running, riding, working, driving, gaming. I even bought tickets with a girlfriend who I subsequently split from who wouldn’t give me the other ticket back. So I went to the show with her and despite her crying and abusing me the entire night I had an awesome time.

So where does this record sit in the Hot Chip collection? Initially, it feels like a sonic backwards step. One Life Stand felt more advanced, it felt like they’d applied Boards Of Canada levels of effort to the production, yet in an effortless way. So In Our Heads feels a little underdone, a little like they went in to the studio and were slightly stifled creatively for whatever reason. Don’t Deny Your Heart is pure 70s dance, Look At Where We Are could’ve been taken straight off The Warning with that funk guitar, and How Do You Do starts with a simple bass line and drums that only get more simple.
The record then explodes in to life. These Chains catch your ear, the synths pull you in and by the time Night And Day starts you’re back on track. There has been some criticism of Night And Day as a single but I think its perfect, it feels like Hot Chip start you off on a treadmill and gradually increase the speed as the track goes on. Flutes is the pick of the album though. The start just gives you that marching band feeling, then once the bass synth comes in it feels exactly like No Fit State, a previous classic. It builds and builds in the way only Hot Chip know how to do, and you know you’re in for a synth explosion at some point that will have you reaching desperately for the volume knob to turn it all the way up to 11.

Now There Is Nothing is a rollercoaster of a track, you feel like you’re heading up the hill but when you get to the top it’s just a calming plateau. Lyrically, Alexis Taylor continues to grow. On One Life Stand you felt a sort of happiness for him, for the way he viewed love and life. On In Our Heads he goes further and makes you feel happy in general. I think lyrically this is an even stronger effort than One Life Stand which is an incredible effort.

My rating 8.5/10. Awesome new album I suggest everyone goes out and gets it!

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