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ALBUM REVIEW: Business Casual by Chromeo

By in Culture

HOLLY CULP
Arts Editor

I can’t decide whether the reason “J’ai Claqué la Porte” is the best song on the new Chromeo album is because it is so different from the other songs on the album (it’s the only French song) or because it is actually really, really good.

The Montreal electrofunk duo who you’ve (hopefully) heard so much about in the past few months has released their third full-length album, Business Casual, and the subject matter is exclusively concerned with various dealings with women. The album cover itself features a woman from the waist down, standing at a photocopier.

A vague familiarity with Chromeo will tell you that this album isn’t terribly different from their earlier material. It is distinctly them; it would be difficult to mistake it for anything else. That said, it all somehow seems so tame in comparison to the potent songs of their earlier repertoire. Basically, you can have it on in the background without the uncontrollable urge to dance.

There is no doubt the album is impressive, it just doesn’t surpass their previous work. It doesn’t demand that you listen to it and dance your pants off. Keep your pants on, please.

The duo teamed up with Solange Knowles — the cooler, younger, lesser-known sister of Beyonce — on the track “When the Night Falls,” as well as with English artist Kesh, who lends her voice to the track “Hot Mess.”

If you haven’t caught wind of Chromeo’s affiliation with their ’70s and ’80s counterparts and strongest influence, Hall & Oates, you should be able to identify it on this album, particularly on tracks like “Grow Up,” “Don’t Turn the Light On” and “Night by Night.” The group had the opportunity to play alongside Daryl Hall over the summer festival season at Bonnaroo and you can see collaboration between Hall and Chromeo on YouTube with a new take on a classic Hall & Oates tune, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do).”

Regardless of the dance-ability of the new album, it is a solid third album and definitely worth a listen.

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