Chromeo - Business Casual
Wed 8th Sep, 2010 Music Reviewsin
Chromeo have always skated a thin line with followers of their immaculate retro-electro. Are the talk-box vocals and synth-ed up sounds a joke? Do they really love Hall & Oates as much as they say they do? How seriously can you take them? While such questions were legitimate ones following the release of their first record, She’s In Control in 2003, when the Canadian duo dropped their follow up disc Fancy Footwork in 2007 any doubts of the band’s resolve were squashed. That was an album packed with hit after hit, and most importantly, it was great to listen to, every song tweaked and twisted to perfection. With Fancy Footwork, we finally found out the truth about Chromeo; they’re serious about being fun, and as such, they’re seriously fun. Now the Canadian funksters have arrived at album number three and it’s all sorts of awesome.
Kicking off Business Casual with Hot Mess, Chromeo waste no time in re-familiarising listeners with what the duo do best, wheeling out the thick analog synths and bouncing rhythms for a skinny-tie-sporting ‘80s romp. It’s a perfect opener to the record, showing that Chromeo haven’t missed a beat in between drinks. Things then slink on and into I’m Not Contagious, another slice of unabashed retro-goodness with hooks for days.
If there was a worry that perhaps Chromeo would get a little stagnant mining the one style for so long – but doing it ever so well I’ll add – then Business Casual’s lead singles offer some impressive flashes of diversity for the pair of Dave 1 and P-Thugg with Night By Night offering up some of the guitar heroics of the band’s live show and Don’t Turn The Lights On turning down the BPMs for a strutty sex jam. Elsewhere You Make It Rough bursts forth into an extended seven-minute synth-epic.
These newish colours suit the Chromeo boys, especially when they get around to the smoothed out J’ai Claqué La Porte which as well as being the band’s first song completely in French also features Chromeo picking up strings and acoustic guitars for a wonderfully lush two minutes.
But as with every dose of Chromeo material, the duo never push too far behind doing what they love and Business Casual is naturally plumped out with some cracking gems like When The Night Falls and the giddy soft-pop of The Right Type.
It’s all over too quickly in just 10 tunes, but if Business Casual proves one thing it’s that Chromeo are incredibly consistent so it’s likely that I’ll be back here in another three years listening to their next album with a huge grin on my face.
Chromeo’s Business Casual is released through Modular/Universal on September 17th.