Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?

The first two Hot Chip songs to “breakthough” were the lead singles of their 2006 album The Warning – the jolting, Talking Heads-esque ‘Over and Over’ and the lovelorn ‘Boy from School’. They’re vastly different tracks, but both clear sign posts of what has become a distinctive Hot Chip sound. Across half-a-dozen albums and just over a decade in the public eye, the London quintet have explored and experimented with many styles and tested out every setting on their vast array of synthesizers.

Their new album Why Make Sense? again showcases their range while retaining that now familiar core sound. There’s a guest verse from Del La Soul’s Posdnuos on ‘Love Is The Future’ and forays into post-punk, disco and ‘90s RnB. But while the lead singles – Underworld-aping ‘Need You Now’ and the vocodered robot-pop of ‘Huarache Lights’ – are welcome additions to the Hot Chip catalogue there are also less successful forays including the instantly-skippable ‘White Wine and Fried Chicken’.

It might not succeed as well as select predecessors; but, as an album, Why Make Sense? allows for the band to be interesting, to be relevant and – perhaps the most important of them all – to be them.