I am sure all of you have had your stages of music. Probably my most inexplicable musical rite of passage was my venture into techno music in the late 90’s. I think it all stems from my trip to Cream in Liverpool my first year out of high school. Don’t have many CDs left to show for this era of my life, but to date I still from time to time find some electronic groups that peak my interests again.
One example is Hot Chip. Today they release Made in the Dark, and I recently streamed the entire album on Spinner.com. After the opening tracks of this album, I was ready to dish it as another less than impressive sequel to a trailblazing electronic album (see Basement Jaxx). But this is a respectable follow up to The Warning. Not as danceable, but just as creative. “Ready for the Floor” and “We are Looking for a Lot of Love” are great tracks. “Looking”, “In the Privacy of Our Love” and the title track show off the “soulfulness” that some reviewers are crooning about on this album (foreshadowed in their “Sexual Healing” cover from last year), yet the album can sound like a maddening toy factory assembly line at times. “Touch Too Much” hearkens back to “Over and Over” with what sounds like some odd cowbell as a main beat for the track. “One Pure Though” and “Hold On” may be the exceptions to the less-danceable comment, providing a background melody that is definitely club-worthy. The kicker of the album for me is “Wrestler” which shows off HC’s wit with lyrics like “I’ve got a roll of coins and I am aiming for your loins and will never stop” set to a background of handclaps and a gentle piano line. The contrast is refreshing and remniscent of The Warning’s title track. All in all an enjoyable album.