Electronic music used to be fun. At pretty much the exact moment Radiohead started making it, everyone forgot that dance music only ever existed as a soundtrack to unspeakable fun. What started as a campy reaction to the dominant arena rock of the 70s begat a whole host of forgettable, though catchy, 80s synthpop outfits. None of those groups bothered to take themselves too seriously.
Hot Chip started life on the more serious side of the tracks, but quickly downgraded themselves to the realm of the uber-sarcastic hipster set. Tracks like 2005's Down With Prince oozed that cooler-than-thou ethos in a pretty transparent way. “I’m sick of motherfuckers trying to tell me that they’re down with Prince,” sang lead singer Alexis Taylor.
Five albums into their career, Hot Chip have officially found the fun. In Our Heads is all brassy synths and smiles, and it makes for an invigorating listen.
The highlights on the record are many, the weak spots few and far between. Motion Sickness, Look Where we Are and Let Me Be Him are pitch perfect electro-pop.
The album begins to drag in the middle. It's no coincidence that the record's longest song, Flutes, is also its weakest. Over-long by about 5 minutes and backed by an inscrutable chanting sample, it belongs on a lesser New Order album, not on this otherwise strong collection of songs.