“Before we go any further, I’d like to show you a game I made up. This game’s called ‘Sounds of the Studio,'” proclaims Todd Rundgren during a short intermission in middle of the chaotic, hodgepodge of furious electricity that is “Shake a Fist.” Rundgren then offers a bit of advice, “Now if you have a pair of headphones, you better get them out and crank them up ’cause they’re really going to help you.” What follows is even more energy and intensity, and the infectious beats that are the root for one hell of an album.
Rundgren’s introduction foreshadows the musical makeup of Hot Chip’s third studio album Made in the Dark. It’s an album of electronic mixups and furious beats that exemplify the electrorock genius of Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, and gives a good reason for investing in a new set of speakers. Yet, Made in the Dark is also a pop masterpiece full of elegance, passion and lyrical quality.
Made in the Dark begins with three tracks of electrorock euphoria. “Out at the Pictures,” feature overpowering, yet catchy Friday night rave beats, while the aforementioned “Shake a First,” is a track blasting with a mix of stellar rock and funk samples. “Ready for the Floor” features the band’s greatest Daft Punk imitation, complete with robotic noise and catchy vocal loops. Yet the song also exemplifies the grace and elegance of Taylor’s vocals, an attribute that soon becomes more prevalent in the album, and helps separate Hot Chip apart from all those house bands.
While the chaos and fury of the opening three tracks remain present throughout, the album transitions more into a pop album. “Were Looking for a Lot of Love,” is a soft, down to earth, electropop ballad that brings a bit of realism to the album. The album’s title track is equally mellow and personal. Vocally, it’s easily the album’s best track, and exhibits the true musicianship of Hot Chip. Their range is like non other. They don’t need computers and drum machines to be great.
Hot Chip end Made in the Dark with the best of both world. “Don’t Dance” is a head nodding, toe tapping, collection of computer rock, while the album’s last track “In The Privacy of Our Love,” is a pop monophonic piano ballad.
The British natives have created an album that is the total package. From chaotic synthesizer and drum rhythms to passionate electropop ballads, the British electrojunkies have made an album for the whole family. While it marks perhaps the band’s most “rocky” sound of dates, it’s also their most experimental. And in the end, it’s a true example of musical brilliance.