In Our Heads
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
I've always appreciated Hot Chips quirky nature - never afraid to mix it up with exotic flavors and never afraid to take the scenic route when crafting their tunes. On past releases it didn't always work to my liking but I could still appreciate their experimental nature.

Having said that...In Our Heads is their best work so far. Hot Chip has retained all the exotic, quirky flavors of past works, but this time around they have brilliantly packaged them into intelligent, well crafted tunes. I can't say enough good stuff about it! Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
I only buy albums on vinyl that I see as amongst the best in existence. This is one of them. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
I don't have a lot to say, it's just great. Clean sound, smart writing, perfect execution. Great to dance to, listen to, relax or stimulate. No extraneous sounds. I like it.
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