Hot Chip emerged in the noughties as one of a plethora of groups such as LCD Soundsystem and MGMT whose music walked that fine line between indie and electronica. They were also one of the best of these indie/electronica, outfits to boot. Singles such as Over and Over, Ready for the Floor and Night & Day remain floor fillers at indie discos, with many of their corresponding albums ranking among the finest records of both the indie and electronic music genres to be put out in the last decade or so. Now that they’ve released their 6th album, Why Make Sense? following 2012’s exquisite In Our Heads, possibly their best album to date, anticipation for Hot Chips new album has been palpable.
The LP starts off well, with opener Huarache Lights playing like a slower, more reserved Night & Day style track. This is followed by the albums best offering, Love Is the Future. As throughout the majority of the album, the approach taken with the synths and keyboards in Love Is the Future is more or less a minimal one. An excellent turn by De La Soul’s Posdnous rapping deftly and interweaving through the staccato keyboards elevates the song even further. Sadly though, the album has now peaked at this stage. Following the strong opening of the first two tracks, the album then rather slumps along for the most part, hardly calling for much attention to be paid to it as you listen; as opposed to standing up and dancing around the room, or simply relax and be enthralled by the music, as has been the keystone of the average Hot Chip album up to this point. White Wine and Fried Chicken is reminiscent of Super Furry Animals’ track Let The Wolves Howl At The Moon, although while that SFA track serves as a gorgeous closing ballad to their Hey Venus! album, Hot Chip’s ‘Fried Chicken feels awkward and out of place in the middle of the record. Need You Now has female vocals and keyboards reminiscent of a vintage Moby track, but as with most of this record, it suffers from far too much repetition and lack of adventure. Title track and album closer Why Make Sense? is one of the better cuts on the record; with the squelching 8-bit style synths and swelling keyboards finally giving it a density that was sorely missing up until this part of the LP.
Why Make Sense? sees Hot Chip treading water; tragically playing it safe in a niche of music that they normally lead in. Here’s hoping that they restore their stature with their next album release.