If there is one thing that is good about Hot Chip it is that they are not self-indulgent. They say the album was precisely about not getting caught up in their own issues and hang-ups and the ambiance on the album is indeed one of happiness. The band has always been under scrutiny for its awkward, slightly geeky image. Certainly Hot Chip's members are somewhat uncomfortable in their skin, perhaps the reason why they have not put their photo on the front cover of any of their five albums.
But this is precisely why the band succeeds with 'In Our Heads'. Your expectations mount and your anticipation is drawn out; throughout the course of the album we have builds and drops but they are rarely sudden, they are more subtle and more skilled. The band's need to be understated and less showy is in accord with their overall impression and appearance.
'Night and Day' links in more to Hot Chip's older records and recalls the repetitive house beat of 'Over and Over'. Highlights include 'These Chains', which has more of a garage beat, while 'Now There is Nothing' momentarily slows down the tempo and keeps the album varied and interesting.
The album may not be anything sensational, but the band is good at what it does. 'In Our Heads' bridges the gap between indie and electro; the songs have a conventional set-up and an approachable sound. Whilst some of the tunes may lack depth or be slightly mechanical, Hot Chip's latest album is full of summer anthems.
Stream 'In Our Heads' by Hot Chip on the Guardian's website.
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