There’s a Chromeo in Your FutureBy: Marcelo Báez
My Walter Mercado–like powers can foresee it: if Prince and Donna Summer hook up, have two male babies in Canada, and those babies start a band together, that band will be called Chromeo. The kids will go on to make New Wave–inspired disco music and White Women, their fourth studio record, will be a culmination of all their musical ideas. Guest stars—Solange, Toro y Moi, members of Vampire Weekend and LCD Soundsystem—will help solidify Chromeo’s status as that new-but-old-sounding-dance-band-most-people-like.
The opening guitar riff in “Jealous,” the first song, may trick you into believing you’re about to listen to an Avril Lavigne song. But when the catchy chorus comes in, with its funky bass line and punchy keyboards, you’ll be taken by the unmistakable Chromeo sound, which is actually the sound of many other disco- and funk-driven New Wave bands (Giorgio Moroder, Mary Jane Girls, Hall & Oates, New Edition, etc.).
You’ll hear David Macklovitch's falsetto in “Come Alive,” the Toro y Moi collaboration, intertwine perfectly with various instruments. “Lost on the Way Home,” featuring Solange, will sound like a melancholic Miami freestyle reminiscent of Connie’s “Funky Little Beat.”
In White Women, an album possibly named after Helmut Newton’s book of the same name, you’ll hear Chromeo’s studio wizardry at its peak: every keyboard, drum kick, bass pluck and vocal will be perfectly recorded and arranged. Their lyrics, however, will sound like they were written by a horny adolescent in a creative writing class (“And even though you’ve got small breasts / But to me they look the best / I confess: I wanna go home / And get you undressed,” sings David on “Over Your Shoulder”). You won’t be the only one feeling that way, but, in Chromeo’s defense, the lyrics of all their idols (or the people they often emulate) are by no means any more elegant.
With the exception of “Ezra’s Interlude”—the only slow, boring song on the record—every track on the record will have the potential to spark up a dance party. Interestingly, though they’ve made heavy use of vocal effects in their previous records, most of the songs will be vocoder- and talkbox-free.
They won’t tweak too much of their tried-and-true formula. Like all their records, White Women will be full of vintage synth-driven dance music. Their lyrics, too, will continue to be about falling in love, seducing or making love to women. It will, quite literally, be more of the same, but the duo will be a lot better at it now—well, better at producing music, at least.
Sorry, my crystal ball is clouding up again and my cape is getting sweaty. I must leave now.
LOGISTICS: White Women by Chromeo, available now