Nocturnal sounds illuminate the soul

Chromeo

By Bongeka Tsekiso

Reminiscent of the 80?s, boasting synthesisers; talk box; remarkable riffs and glorious inventory, Chromeo, an electro-funk duo from Montreal, Canada are definitely growing into their own with their third studio album, Business Casual, released September 14, 2010. The duo consists of Dave1 and P-Thugg, childhood friends. Doubtless, they are bringing the essence of nightlife and youthful sounds back into music with their infectious line-up of songs. This consistent ten track album is one fit for a classic retro-themed party ? luminous balloons, Polaroid?s, neon lights and the whole shebang.

Be warned though, these boy?s throwback sounds are undoubtedly sure to cause nostalgia among some of our parents who once partied away to the likes of Hall & Oats and Sylvester. And as much as is fit for partying to, it also serves as a great soundtrack to a relaxed, mellow night in alone or with a small group of friends. They bridge the generation (and company) gap masterfully from track one to ten.

With a career spanning an impressive seven years, having signed their deal with in 2003 in the music industry, the duo are well on their way to global success. With the likes of Prince as one of their key influences, and skills that could make most bands eat humble pie, longevity seems a bright possibility. Their suave and effortless fashion sense teamed with their dedication to all things retro adds an extra bit of spice to their overall image as a stage ensemble.

The opening track, Hot Mess, is a conversation between a couple with the male somewhat reminiscing on their ?used to be? relationship, and making excuses for his aloofness as the female voice tells him his business – a rather awkward way to organise a track list, but effective nonetheless. It speaks true to life?s situations in a very light-hearted way, in complete contradiction with the instruments which consist of dramatic synthesisers and heavy percussion ? romanticised with a soft piano tease as the song comes to an end.

Not much of a shift from their sophomore album, Fancy Footwork, although some growth is heard and felt in their music. When the night falls which features Solange stands out of the list of similar sounding songs, creating a more feminine feel to the rugged elements characteristic of this album.

The downfall however is that the tracks end up sounding the same due to the constant use of the same instruments, tempos and voice tones and levels. However, When the night falls breaks this redundancy for about three and a half minutes, with the introduction of a female soprano voice lacing the catchy chorus ever so brilliantly. Definitely a favourite!

LINKS:
http://www.chromeo.net

http://www.chromeo-businesscasual.com/

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/130025-chromeo-business-casual/

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