Chromeo

Chromeo

She’s In Control

VICE

So I’m wondering: What is it that makes the difference between sincere pastiche Polaroid takers and true dancefloor art? Case in point, why do I have a lot of time for oh, say, Dot Allison, yet Chromeo doesn’t wholly appeal to me?

I’m a fan of this kind of music; it’s retro in a genre with which I’m unabashedly infatuated. Chromeo don’t even pretend they aspire to anything other than being a band that — as the PR release would have it — creates “a soundtrack for the perfect Saturday night out…in 1986.”

So their ambitions are in the right place as far as I’m concerned. But almost 20 years after the chart peak of that genre, I’m looking for more than echoes of my favorite records. Just under half of these tracks don’t have it.

Of those that do, “Woman Friend” has a funky bass line and mildly addictive hook; the title cut has some good synthesized drumming, and “Mercury Tears” makes the best use of the zapped vocal sound of which Chromeo are much too overly fond. But “You’re So Gangsta” is far and away the best of the lot, with pronouncedly artificial vocals making more of its minimalist lyric — exactly one line long — than most of the others, that talk a lot louder and say much less.

I think I’ve figured out the answer to the question I posed a few seconds ago, and of course I knew it all along: Talented songwriting makes all the difference. Chromeo is absolutely fun and catchy as all get-out, but they are not the new New Edition, whose “Cool It Now” they cite as a holy grail of pop. I’m on board with that, but, in the meantime, maybe somebody ought to tell them that New Edition had other people to write their songs for them.

Chromeo: http://www.chromeo.net/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives