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Hot Chip: Made In The Dark

B

Hot Chip

Album: Made In The Dark
Label: DFA/Astralwerks

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Hot Chip has always been nerdy, but it's never been nerdy enough to forsake an interest in how its nerdiness would be perceived. Even the most antic moments on previous albums felt a little hedged or uncertain, if not for a group of homebound English boys, then certainly for an act regarded as a paragon of "dance-rock." That pensiveness proved a big part of Hot Chip's charm, of course, but it's a lot more charming when measured against a complementary tendency to go big, busy, and raw. From the unguarded yelps and wiggling drums that mark its first track, Made In The Dark sounds more forceful and lithe than anything in Hot Chip's past. The demented single "Shake A Fist" swerves through a number of different big-bottomed movements (including one riffing on an old curio by Todd Rundgren), and the ballads (some of a sort that John Waite would have killed for in the '80s) sound more heartfelt. It's a motley mix that can make Made In The Dark sound like a different album every time it's played.