HOT CHIP The Warning EMI (2006)
The Warning is an apt title. I've long since discovered that there's a damn good reason why some promos come with a sticker round the digipack that prevents easy access to the CD: the contents can have the ability to seriously damage your listening enjoyment.
I didn't have anything kind to say about Hot Chip's first single - Over and Over - which is included here - 'techno beats and electronic solos, fine if you like that sort of thing, but it ain't rock n roll'. Which, ladies and gentlemen, equally sums up The Warning.
The album opens with Careful - a song celebrating balloons and physical intimacy with frenetic rave rhythms, war drums, syrupy vocals, and computed crowd chants. Bewildering. Boy From School, the current single is a more conventional number with a Donna Summer / Georgio Moroder disco beat. It's not unpleasant, but let's leave it at that.
There are moments of tenderness - for example, the gentle and innocent ballads Colours and The Warning. And there are several other tracks that are similarly palatable - So Glad To See You and No Fit State.
But as a whole, the album evokes the textures of The Aphex Twins, Madlib's hip-hop, and Prince's claustrophobic parades. Hot Chip have toured with the like of LCD Soundsystem, Mylo, Stereolab and Goldfrapp. If they're your cup of tea you might want to investigate. Me, I'd rather suck on a lemon.
Review by Pete Whalley