Chromeo - Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels

Chromeo exploded on the scene in 201 with their album White Women, a pop-funk fusion record reminiscent of Mark Ronson and Jamie Lidell. Just like those other guys Chromeo are DJs turned multi instrumentalist, giving them a very distinct ear for what makes retro sounds just so inviting. Retro is really the operative word here, because throughout this record you'll find nods to the pop movements of the 80s and early 90s. With the features on this record Chromeo are certianly going for a group of artists who are not the norm. French Montana, Stefflon Don, D.R.A.M., Amber Mark and others round out the feature list adding their voices to Chromeo's tongue and cheek sexy style.  This time around, as opposed to White Girls, Chromeo are making a decided play for the middle. You sense their ears peaked up with the smash success that was Bruno Mars' 24k Magic and tried to replicate that in their own way. The results are often catchy as hell, but lack both the lyrical and musical punch the duo used to have. By this time in their career you can start to see the formula, and they really don't deviate from it on this album at all. Funk sounds, check, Pop structure, check, Mildly famous feature list, check, Lyrics that are sexy, but not all that dangerous, double check. The songs often sound awesome and rich, but when the lyrics come in it is the same tired trope after the same tired trope. Should we all get together and make a "Bad Decision" Chromeo says yes over this pulsing Prince beat.

That is the thing with this record, the music really fucking cooks but the lyrics are damn near as basic as you can find. The features don't even pull it around because their personality seems to slip behind the music. On "Right Back Home to You (interlude)" however they really find their groove by throwing away the gimmicks. It is a simple song with minimal lyrics repeated over and with this super slick buttery vocal. Without the cheese and the obsession with sex they find a voice that really sets them apart. "Just Friends" with Amber Mark truly sounds like a rehash of Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" which is not necessarily a bad thing since we don't often get these kinds of call and response duets much anymore. "Bedroom Calling Pt. 1" is a relatively nice slow song, but it really kicks into gear once "Bedroom Calling Pt. 2" featuring The-Dream drops in. Suddenly instead of this slow meandering track the beat hits and your body simply has to react. Head Over Heels has some really great moments, but it also has a lot of tracks that disappoint. There is far more good than bad, but Chromeo are going to need to take a look at this formula and see how much more they can get out of it.

7.7 out of 10


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