Album of the Week: Hot Chip, 'Why Make Sense?'


Hot Chip, 'Why Make Sense?'
Hot Chip, 'Why Make Sense?' (© 2015 Domino Recording Co.)

Hot Chip's sixth studio album is a timeless body of work that arrives at a moment when EDM is losing the art of performance. Over decade ago, Hot Chip set the status quo for indie-tronica Today, they exist outside the genre they helped define. Most of the imitators inspired by the sounds of the 00's have faded away or grabbed at the newest trends in dance music.

The mouse and spacebar have liberated electronic dance music from the confines of traditional instrumentation and arrangements. Instruments in a box enable more creativity and diversity in the alternative dance movement. It's changed what is considered dance music and has contributed to the decline of rock in popular culture.

On Why Make Sense?, Hot Chip resist the temptation to follow the trends and stay true to themselves by focusing on capturing the elements that make a good dance album. The new collection of songs has heart and soul because it doesn't attempt to manufacture rhythm and movement; instead, Hot Chip focused on a language they've developed over years of being a band. What's brilliant is that they hone in on exercising their craft without sacrificing the tastefulness of their previous albums.

Songs like "Huarache Lights" contain the hallmarks of Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard's musical pedigree and taste. They channel their influences like New Order and dare to borrow from idols like Prince. Despite the more traditional approach, they sound unrestrained. On tracks like "Need You Now," you can feel the human beat of the performances captured in the studio.

For a band with an unmistakable sonic recipe, Why Make Sense? sounds divorced from time and place. After five studio albums, Hot Chip avoid sounding dated without trying to reinvent themselves. In fact, they manage to create one of the best albums of the year by not attempting to impress anyone but themselves.

Why Make Sense? will release on May 19 on Domino Records.

Audience ratings for this album

Among The Current's listeners who submitted a rating for this album, 80 percent gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Poll closed at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

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