Most music that comes from the fingertips of someone who is British is almost always a masterpiece, and Hot Chip is definitely not an exception to that. The five piece British typhoon has come out with a new album, “Why Make Sense” on May 19, after three years without any new album releases. They have come a long way and have made some great adjustments and progression to their sound. They have taken a much more minimal approach, and are seducing the ears of millions of eager dance obsessed youth. The members of Hot Chip are trying to decipher in this album, where their place is in the real world, and the music world. How do they keep moving on and pursuing this amazing life that they have built for themselves.
The opening song, “Huarache Lights” is the first indication of their more stripped down and tame electronic beats they are trying to achieve. Alexis Taylor’s voice is always a soothing whimper that can calm just about anyone’s soul. The song starts slow with some minimal beat and slowly progresses into a mixture of Taylor using a vocoder, infectious synthesizers and an overall message and having your body, mind and soul coming together as one. “Cry for You” has a little bit of an R&B sound to it. The soulful emotion behind Taylor’s voice is painful in all the best ways possible. We once again see the use of the vocoder and the intriguing paradox the futuristic vocals mixed with the live vocals make.
“White Wine and Fried Chicken” was the most confusing Hot Chip song I had ever heard. It’s the most “singer songwriter” type of song that they have ever written. I’m so used to having looping beats and overwhelming synthesizers, that this song ended up just throwing me for a loop. “With our blues in remission/ we’ll keep them at the bay.” It’s so heart-wrenching, but so hopeful! Clocking in at just three minutes, this tune confirms that Hot Chip can do just about any genre of music you throw at them. For the people who do not believe that electronica is not music, maybe this will show you that electronic musicians are also capable of creating more traditional music.
“Need You Now” is probably my favorite song off this album. The song is so smooth with silky synths and a hint of the worry of being lost in this world. Taylor sings, “Tired of being myself, Caught up in this world/ I never dreamed I could belong.” A feeling that I think almost anyone can relate to as some point in their life. It’s hard to find the reason that we are put on this Earth. Sometimes we may even feel that it is unfair we were put on this Earth, because we do not belong. We may feel we bring nothing to the table. It’s easy to want to wish you could be in someone else’s shoes and forget about ourselves. We cannot forget that everyone has their own demons, and we just need to be the best that we can.
This album has been one of my favorites of theirs. it’s stripped down, minimal, and covers the emotional topics that go through everyone’s heads at some point in their life. People should not compare this album to “In Our Heads.” Which is many people’s favorite, and many claim it to be their best. We must look at this album as a new step for Hot Chip, and allowing them to explore themselves and reevaluate their music and where they are.
Bella Elbaum is a Los Angeles based writer and music enthusiast. You can follow her on Twitter