Customer Reviews: In Our Heads
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on June 12, 2012
Hot Chip's fifth album IN OUR HEADS is just as infectious as the others that came before it. London's electronic indie-dance group is back again for 11 tracks of floor-filling pop tracks. Listeners will find it hard to not bob their head to many of the songs here. The band has made a career of its grab-bag of musical influences, and this latest album provides no exception to the genre-bending pop songs the band creates.

The opening "Motion Sickness" sets the trend for majority of the album: rhythmic and hypnotic percussion, looped samples, hints of synth keyboards. This brand of infectious dance-pop draws its influence from 1970's R&B, and it is mostly fun, upbeat, sometimes goofy, and energizing. Elements of dance, indie-rock, glam, and R&B fuse together for a unique sound that is distinctively Hot Chip. The lyrics generally focus on human connection, a theme that has been present since the earliest of the band's efforts, and while earlier entries in the bands' catalog may come across as ironic or detached, IN OUR HEADS feels pretty earnest and sincere.

Later moments in the album give way to more psychedelic tendencies. "Flutes," "Now There is Nothing," and the 7-plus minute "Let Me Be Him," and album closer "Always Been Your Love" find the band loosening up to great effect. The hint of spacey ambiance in the last third of the album depicts the band experimenting with its range; the result is some of the more beautiful songs Hot Chip has created.

IN OUR HEADS has been one of 2012's most fun and satisfying releases. Fans of LCD Soundsystem, M83, or Justice will really enjoy IN OUR HEADS. Highlights to sample: "How Do You Do," "Motion Sickness," "Now There is Nothing," and "Flutes." These songs will give you an idea of what to expect from the album. As of now, NPR is streaming the album in its entirety -- if listeners are unsure whether or not they would enjoy this record, be sure to give it a listen before buying.
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on June 14, 2012
Big surprise this, I was left cold by 'Made in the Dark' which I found too maudlin and serious in places, too jokey and throwaway in others. Honestly I never imagined myself purchasing another release by the band but 'In Our Heads' is near perfect, unexpectedly bettering the excellent 2006 album 'The Warning'.

There are some standout tracks including 'Ends of the Earth' and 'Night and Day' that'll have The Knife sweating a little, the 7 minutes of pulsing, swirling genius that goes by the name of 'Flutes', the none more eighties 'How Do You Do?' and 'Don't Deny Your Heart' that boast the sort of retro feel The Juan Maclean keeps striving for, and 'Let Me Be Him' that takes the epic quality and backing vocal chants from the recent M83 release and marries them to a better song than that band managed to write on a double disc album.

You can tell a classic by how even the lesser lights get elevated by the quality that surrounds them - 'Look at Where We Are' and 'These Chains' have a Burial feel to the vocals and have a refreshing quality thanks to being expertly sequenced in the middle of the track list. 'Now There is Nothing' is perhaps the weakest effort included here but it's sweetly psychedelic vibe, faintly reminiscent of 'Yoshimi' period Flaming Lips, is cleverly positioned between the two barn stormers 'Flutes' and 'Earth'.

A real surprise, I never imagined myself awarding a Hot Chip release with 5 stars and hailing it as the best album I've encountered so far this year but here I am doing just that - a really fun listen, essential.
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on June 23, 2012
Really fantastic album. I've liked Hot Chip for a few years now, and have been waiting on this album for some time. These guys just work so well together, and make some incredibly COOL and CATCHY songs, while also managing to toy with some experimentation and psychedelic sentiments. These guys create some of the most addicting hooks, whether it's a vocal melody or synth or what. About half the tracks gripped me on the first listen (motion sickness, look at where we are, these chains, flutes **, ends of the earth, let me be him), and the rest grew on me after about the third listen, with the exception of Now There is Nothing...but I'm even starting to like that one! Overall this album is incredibly fun, while still managing to occasionally challenge the listener. A perfect mix.
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on June 13, 2012
Hot Chip albums are often balancing between dancing-happy-time and yearning-lovesick-time. On The Warning, it was weighted more towards the happy (Over and Over), but tracks like Colours, And I Was A Boy From School, or No Fit State showed they could mesh yearning with dance tracks. Made In The Dark exemplified the dichotomy in Hot Chip, sacrificing the flow of the album for purely romantic songs (Made In The Dark) or purely dance songs (Shake A Fist). One Life Stand merged these two sides, landing danceable love songs (similar to The Warning tracks from earlier) throughout the album.

Then In Our Heads came around, and is undoubtedly my favorite album. What Hot Chip have done here is take all the progress they made up to One Life Stand and tightened it up, with a little more smiles, a little more dance, and a little more sincerity. The album starts with a bang with quick hits in Motion Sickness, How Do You Do?, and a sweetie in Don't Deny Your Heart. Look At Where We Are follows and is one of the best "pretty" songs I've heard by these guys. After that, the album really hits its zone. These Chains is a dancer with a sentimental bend. Night and Day is probably the most fun track on the album. Then, there's Flutes - absolutely stellar dance track, has replaced Take It In as my favorite of theirs. Now There Is Nothing reminds of Slush. Ends Of The Earth picks the pace back up with another dance track. Let Me Be Him is another favorite, probably the best closer I've heard by the band (though it doesn't close), the vocals and drive remind me of U2. Always Be Your Love closes the album beautifully. Overall, the best album I've heard by them - One Life Stand is a close second, The Warning a close third, and Made In The Dark a relatively distant fourth.

Stand Out Tracks: Flutes, Night and Day, Let Me Be Him
Not Great Tracks: Now There Is Nothing
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on March 13, 2013
My exposure to Hot Chip was a song on one of the Kitsuné Maison compilation albums. So this purchase was something of a whim, thanks to it being on sale for $5 plus a one dollar discount acquired through previous purchases. Damn, this is worth full price! It's incredibly fun to listen to, and while there are a few lulls here and there, the overall tone of the album is highly enjoyable.
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on January 17, 2013
This has to be Hot Chip's best album yet! Every tune on the record has caught my attention... Note-worthy favorites being the opening track "Motion Sickness," which is an explosive track that I imagine sitting in a concert hall while a band plays it, and "Let Me Be Him," which is a the kind of great music I expect from this band. I recommend this album to anybody, whehther they like electronic music or not.
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on June 27, 2012
Hot Chip deliver an album with almost as much reliability as 'Old Faithful' (every two years in this case). They then embark on a world tour to field-test their work. This fifth piece is, to my mind, their best to date. Listening first in the sequence it was produced, it really is like a roller-coaster ride: initial anticipation and build up; exhilaration at the crest and a thrilling middle with a wind-down, reflective final third. The sonics are as always, multi-layered, superbly produced (but not overly so) with typically memorable lyrics that combine cleverness with kindness--a rare and cherished trait. Alexis and Joe's voices perfectly compliment each other.
This is an album which is (very)easy to listen to but is most certainly not in the 'easy listening' genre.
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on June 26, 2012
I'm new to Hot Chip. The song that attracted me to this album was "Flutes" - an interesting, slightly edgy dance tune. I've also come to like the aesthetically similar "Night and Day" quite a bit. However, the album contains a wide variety of songs and most of the rest of them are a little to pop/ballady for my tastes. Not sorry I bought it, but might have just gone for those two songs if I'd heard them all.
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on December 7, 2012
OH Hot Chip, I knew you'd come back to me and set me on fire! 2012 has been a year of many reappearances from some of my favorite popular artists, but this one puts the others to shame. I didn't discover Hot Chip for myself until 2009/2010, but I became an instant fan. For me they just keep improving in little ways. THE WARNING, a spectacular CD on its own, was only outdone by MADE IN THE DARK, a constant flash and blasting of unending flavor of electro-pop dance. Then ONE LIFE STAND came out and introduced a different side to Hot Chip. Although it lacked the in-your-face get crazy! beats of MADE IN THE DARK, the band reverted to a more elegant venture that has a blend of sounds from across their discography.

IN OUR HEADS feels like a collection of the bands best work, but its better because its all new! They include the clever build ups and energy explosions seen throughout MADE IN THE DARK, the clever cultivation we saw in ONE LIFE STAND, and the quiet grace that started with THE WARNING. What makes it better is that it combines all these fantastic attributes and then improves on it exponentially.

The layering of music in MOTION SICKNESS could be overwhelming had these musicians not done such a good job blending the sounds so they compliment each other. They continue that precision right into HOW DO YOU DO? The album reaches a pinnacle with NIGHT AND DAY and FLUTES, where they put down the music and lyrics in a way that is so true to the funk you've come to expect from Hot Chip. It then drastically drops off with NOW THERE IS NOTHING (the only track I find skippable, but still deserves a listen). This drop off does little if skipped, for it only picks right back up with END OF THE EARTH, which has a way of making you feel like you are traveling through time and space. LET ME BE HIM is remeniscent of a number of songs from previous albums (ALLEY CATS, SO GLAD TO SEE YOU). The CD has a fitting close with a wonderfully introspective and entrancing ALWAYS BE YOUR LOVE.

It is my opinion that Hot Chip is clearly one of the most amazing bands. They have a place in my heart 2nd only to the efforts of Mr. James Murphy. Some of their music sits on the same level with LCD Soundsystem, so I think that if they continue to improve their musical creations, they will one day reach the imperfect perfection that needs a full 5 stars. For purposes of this review I'll round up to 5 stars.
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on August 22, 2012
The production is amazing. These guys know how to make catchy songs. This is what pop should be. Somewhere between the early 2000s and now people forgot how to make it. This album will go down as a classic for sure.
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