[YEAR-END] Top 50 Albums of 2012 (#7) x Hot Chip ‘In Our Heads’

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With their fifth album ‘In Our Heads’, disco pop group Hot Chip did something really magical with their musical aesthetic. Not only have they evolved their own in-house production skills, but they actually made multi-formatted songs that could work on many different charts. Lead singer Alexis Taylor’s vocals are magical over the group’s dance/electronic beats. Each song on ‘Heads’ is guarantee to move you one way or another, whether its to the dance floor with their live instrumentation or to tears with their songwriting. First single “Night and Day” packs a heavy punch, and is more of a break dance rhythm than their synthpop origins, but works well either way. Upon a first listen, the first word I could think of was “funky” and its stuck with me ever since. This is also apparent with their second single “How Do You Do”, which also makes for an impressive group vocal from Hot Chip. The perfect layering of vocals and instrumentals was cleverly thought out and is definitely one of the band’s many strengths.

But for me, “Flutes” is the ultimate #mustlisten on Hot Chip’s latest release. To say that “Flutes” is amazing is a mere understatement. It’s more than just that – it’s triumphant, orgasmic, delicate, and empowering all in the same breath. For a while, I used to think that “Ready For The Floor” (from their 2008 release ‘Made In The Dark’) was their best vocal-meets-beats showing to date, but “Flutes” blows “Floor” out of the water any day. This song is the definition of true artistry and paired with its live instrumentation, it’s literally one of the best songs ever. When I first heard it, I didn’t even realize how hard I was grooving to their melody until about halfway in, at which point I just started the entire song over. “Flutes” is almost like an outer-body experience, one which sucks you up and takes you to a higher plane – without the drugs, mind you. It’s songs like these that make me love Hot Chip, because you’d never dare to hear songs of this caliber from any mainstream artist. ‘In Our Heads’ makes me feel like Hot Chip are the modern-day Depeche Mode only with futuristic arrangements and stellar vocal talents.

Why It’s Great: Above-par production, “Flutes”, and the group’s vocal harmonies

Watch a live performance of “Night And Day” below.

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