Review: Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstacy
To some, Hot Chip have always been pioneers of sensitive indie club-pop, while, to others, there’s something irksome about their inherent anxiety, as well as a sense they’re trying too hard to please.
Such criticisms, however, are now invalid: their seventh album is sleek and carefree.
Cassius’ Philippe Zdar and XL Recordings’ in-house producer Rodaidh McDonald will probably claim responsibility: recent single Hungry Child’s glistening production lends a welcome French touch, and the subdued Clear Blue Skies, sung by Joe Goddard, provides an exquisite runway for heartfelt closer No God.
That said, frontman Alexis Taylor still regularly sounds like a sensitive schoolboy dreading a headmaster’s appointment, as on the title track, where he strains to find the melody before being propped up by playful vocal effects. Spells, meanwhile, briefly – arguably lazily – revisits tricks from 2006 hit Over And Over.
But at other moments – as when, caressed by sparkling synths, he hits high notes on uplifting opener Melody Of Love – Taylor appears utterly serene, his lyrics a perfect soundtrack for the inevitably redemptive moment in a TV drama when someone realises they do, after all, love the person they’ve rejected.
With this latest ecstatic submersion, Hot Chip may win others over similarly.