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Cool Spin: Hot Chip, ‘Why Make Sense?’

With each passing year, the public’s collective ears are better prepped for sounds like the experimental ones of Hot Chip. In turn, Hot Chip flexes just enough to become more accessible for general consumption.

On the British quintet’s sixth full-length, Why Make Sense? (Domino Records), the fun kicks off instantly with bubbly opener, “Huarache Lights.” Produced by Hot Chip with Mark Ralph, Why Make Sense? takes its title’s sentiment to heart, veering in a variety of directions. Case in point, De La Soul’s Pos rhyming on “Love Is The Future,” his slick flow juxtaposing against Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor’s shuddering falsetto.

Disco flecks bounce off the rounded beats of “Started Right,” and “Need You Now” samples Sinnamon’s early ’80s house style dancefloor-tearing vocals, while “White Wine And Chicken” is Hot Chip’s successful attempt at a digital ballad.

“Dark Knight” hits just the right midtempo stride with enough moody emotion to warm up the electronics and enough studio play to keep it from becoming predictable. This is Hot Chip’s signature as its maintaining of soul at the core of its productions is what gives the group its staying power.

Written, produced and performed Hot Chip except: “Love Is The Future” written by Hot Chip and Kelvin Mercer. Additional production and engineering by Mark Ralph at Club Ralph and Angelic studios. Assistant engineer at Angelic: Tom Fuller. All songs mixed by Hot Chip and Mark Ralph except: “Huarache Lights,” “Need You Now” and “Why Make Sense” mixed by David Wrench. “Started Right” mixed by Mark Ralph and David Wrench. “Love Is the Future” mixed by Jimmy Douglass. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering