About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Two Keys: One To Your Heart, The Other Your Inner Dancefloor

Rating: A masterful blend of the floor-fillers and ballads which made them popular

On the first spin, its blatantly clear that 'Made In The Dark' is not 'The Warning Mk. 2'. Split into two distinctive halves, the band tend towards heavier electronics on their dance tracks, and have really become masters at their clincher, the pop-balled. Opening with banging club anthem 'Out At The Pictures', this song sets an upbeat mood for the first half of the album, and the pace never really lets up, only gradually tailing off towards the end. However, there are a few reprieves, such as album closer 'In The Privacy Of Our Love', 'We're Looking For a Lot of Love', 'Whistle For The Will', and the title track, where the band showcase their fully developed skills with the down-tempo songs. These aren't throwaways, and are key to this album- without them, it just wouldn't work.

This is an ambitious third release- 13 tracks long, with most tracks easily breaking the 4 minute mark. However, the length isn't an issue- all the songs here feel as if they've been given room to breath, and the band's success has obviously given them the confidence to stretch their creative license. Take 'Hold On', for example, a potential third single, which, at 6 minutes long, might be pushing the envelope. Not quite- consumed by a serious groove, this mammoth tune just keeps going and going, layering vocals and synths right to the loopy ending, full of 'beeps', 'bloops', and yes, you guessed it, 'bops'. Even more ridiculous is the fact that this high-point was recorded live in a single take. Ridiculous!

In Alexis Taylor, you have a soul-tinged, distinctive front-man, and he really is the heart and soul of this band, and this album. I'm not playing down the other member's (and Joe Goddard's, in particular) contributions, but Alexis is obviously crazy, different, and exceptionally talented. In another life, I could easily imagine him giving in to his soul roots.

Designed to make you move, this is an album half-full of songs mimicking the bliss of 'Over And Over' and yes, they match its quality. Track 2, 'Shake A Fist', complete with Todd Rundgren sample and mid song breakdown, is still my favourite Hot Chip song to date. Next came 'Ready For The Floor', a beefed up 'And I Was A Boy From School', with the required harmonies, discordant backing and weird video (see bottom of post)- a perfect choice for the first single

Hot Chip are a great live band, but I found myself wanting for more after my last experience; I saw them at Lowlands 2006, and I felt the set lacked upbeat songs... I am confidently informed that their recent performances bear no resemblance to the days of old. Whereas back then slower ballads such as 'Colours' toned down the mood, their live set now is said to be full of more upbeat tracks from the new album, which is a definite move in the right direction.

Hot Chip are never going to be a band dominated by expectation- the pressure was great, but with 'Made In The Dark', they've produced an album superior to 'The Warning', with many more standouts tracks, and a truck load of potential, unexpected singles. Each new Hot Chip album has been better than the last, and its no coincidence that on this, the best yet, they have fully embraced their quirky, intelligent and distinguishing characteristics.

Hot Chip- Out At The Pictures
Hot Chip- Hold On

'Made In The Dark' is out on February 4th, and can be purchased here

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