Random Access Memories
Our nation's electropop sweethearts are now on their fifth album – and nothing changes.
So what we get is another strong record mixing blistering party tunes and more contemplative synth pop as the London band exercise their array of skills, this time with the aid of engineer Mark Ralph. Does the bolstering of the Chip team make any difference? There's a marginal improvement on In Our Heads, but it's just as likely down to practice.
You see, Hot Chip's style is well honed now. A mesh of synths, guitars and percussion creates a lush bed for Alexis Taylor's quavering lead vocal with Joe Goddard – well – chipping in where a more sombre voice is required. It works as beautifully as ever here, with Taylor and Goddard combining over bubble-popping percussion to form the ecstatic wordless chants of Let Me Be Him, or bouncing off one another over the ambient cascades of How Do You Do.
Elsewhere, Flutes seems a companion piece to classic 2010 single One Life Stand while Motion Sickness fuses plastic Pet Shop Boys horns with fat beats to build an exhilarating opener.
For all the highs though, there's a persistent feeling Hot Chip are still looking for their first true masterpiece. But this will do just fine for now – and that time will surely come.