Hot Chip - A Bath Full Of Ecstasy
A Bath Full of Ecstasy
It's almost like Hot Chip know what you want even more than you do. When This new album, their seventh was announced the Nu-Disco and Electronic heads of the 2010's suddenly started clamoring. The record however is not a throwback to Hot Chip's past but more a look towards their future. At a sold out show in Los Angeles a tie-dyed sheet hung behind the band as they punched buttons, stummed guitars and jammed. The scene was decidedly a bit older than most shows, but the crowd was acting 10 years younger than they actually were. Many of the songs from that set appear on this new album, even though their almost 20 year career affords them tons of tracks to play live. There are moments on A Bath Full of Ecstasy that feel even more Hot Chippy than Hot Chip, but it is that ability to look at one's self and see the cosmic joke of it all that makes them so endearing. Sure they are making some straight up Electronic Dance, but their emotion, feeling and ideas make it all so much more palpable and real. Their songs at time can sound a bit trite and thin, but that's only if you're not looking at them. Behind the sometimes twee sounds are these ideas about growing through emotions is really like. Songs like "Echo" though connect almost immediately putting you into this groove, but still having something to say. "Hungry Child" is similar as it starts with a gentle refrain until the beat comes blistering in.
This record feels a bit more unworried than their last. Why Make Sense? focused more on crisp tones and slick ideas, but this record feels entirely warm. Dance music can sometimes reflect a cold side of music, but Hot Chip always manage to round out those edges and give you this unified and smooth experience. Songs like "Why Does My Mind" feel like they are a bit overdone and somewhat slow, but it doesn't take away from the punch this record has. There are only nine tracks but the album stretches to nearly 50 minutes giving the songs time and space to stretch out and become more than they were originally intended. "Clear Blue Skies" allows you to gently drift away into infinity, and would be a great album closer but somehow tucks in just before the end of the album. Bath Full of Ecstasy feels almost just like it sounds a ravenous dance record at one end, but a slow and easy warm bath at the other. It finds a great middle path without being generic or one note. A solid ride from start to finish and another feather in Hot Chip's illustrious cap.
8.0 out of 10