06 October 2010

Radio Ponsonby Record Review: Chromeo 'Business Casual'

Business Casual

The world is a serious place. Just like the world, music can be a serious place, too. Some musicians who seem to be trying to have fun even manage to take that a little too seriously. Hair metal, anyone...?

Nobody could accuse Montreal duo Chromeo of taking themselves too seriously.

Nor of playing hair metal, as these guys peddle a brand of shiny, party-starting plastic-funk & electro-pop that's been tearing up indie dancefloors worldwide since their debut album She's In Control - or more correctly, the huge single Needy Girl - through their "mainstream breakthrough" follow up Fancy Footwork.

Now some 6yrs since that debut album & with some seriously fun globe-trotting (Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Fujirock, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, etc.) under their designer belts, P-Thugg & Dave 1, aka Chromeo, return with an album that shows the pair are far more than a loving (& rockin') homage/tribute/rip-off of Hall & Oates, Klymaxx, Zapp & Sylvester.

Business Casual still has moments that deeply pierce the dancefloor jugular, but many of the songs here have been carefully stripped back, allowing the pair's growing songwriting abilities room to breathe. Sure, there's plenty of dazzling fretwork from guitarist Dave 1 (French Literature PhD & brother of DJ wunderkind A-Trak) & P-Thugg's talkbox is still prominent, but somehow the cheese gets soaked up amongst the songwriting: the lyrics here are simple, efficient & clean, much like the music itself.

Perhaps Chromeo have chosen to slow down a little with Business Casual. That's not to say they won't be flashing their fancy footwork all over the floor this NYE at Rhythm & Vines, as they undoubtedly will; but these ears will be listening long after they've left our shores.

Scratch the surface of Business Casual & you'll expose bodywork with a little more substance than first appearances would suggest. A grow-er AND a show-er.

In A Nutshell: seriously fun plastic-funk-pop with more than a side of sophisticated songwriting
Nyntee's Rating: SEVEN & A HALF leggy mannequins out of TEN

Watch Chromeo performing live on Letterman here...

Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with 90, on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show every Wednesday around 8.25am, on 107.7FM. Thanks to the Longroom!

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