Following three years of numerous solo and side projects, electronic pop oddballs Hot Chip finally return to their day jobs for a sixth studio effort, Why Make Sense?, which thankfully proves they haven’t lost any of the endearing quirkiness during their time apart.
An attempt to recapture the energy of their live performances, the follow-up to 2012’s In Our Hands is perhaps the most organic that the British six-piece have sounded since their formation 15 years ago.
But with the exception of the closing title track, an intriguing blend of prog, krautrock and spacey electronica which appears to have wandered in from a different record entirely, Why Make Sense? is pretty much business as usual.
Showcasing Alexis Taylor’s fragile falsetto at its finest, “White Wine & Fried Chicken” and “So Much Further To Go” add to Hot Chip’s canon of melancholic R&B slow jams, while featuring a show-stealing guest turn from De La Soul rapper Posdnuos, “Love Is The Future” proves that few do deadpan disco any better.
Of course, the Londoners have always been at their most captivating when they take their idiosyncrasies onto the dancefloor, so it’s little surprise that the album’s two highlights arrive when they up the BPM rate.
Firstly, opener “Huarache Lights” asks whether audiences still care about the band before its slinky grooves, vocodered vocals and strobing synths ensure the answer is a resounding yes. And secondly, “Need You Now,” a classic house throwback which samples R&B vocal trio Sinnamon’s 1983 single of the same name, is possibly the most infectious dance anthem about an impending nuclear war you’re ever likely to hear.
Continuing Hot Chip’s winning streak, Why Make Sense? is another weird and wonderful affair which ultimately makes almost perfect sense.