Hot Chip's sophomore album, THE WARNING, signaled the group's arrival as a geeky indie-pop rebuttal to electronic music's detached cool. Combining clever, cheeky songwriting chops with a chugging discofied beat, it seemed to strike a perfect balance between pop and dance music. On the group's follow-up, MADE IN THE DARK, they present an ever more eclectic set of influences, displaying a penchant for everything from light FM balladry to the latest rhythmic innovations of reggaeton and R&B. Picking off where they left off with the jubilant lead single "Ready for the Floor," its buoyant, rubbery bass and gauzy synth chords illuminate vocalist Alexis Taylor's pleasing falsetto. As much as their brand of brash indie-dance pop can ignite dance floors, MADE IN THE DARK shows the band's more sensitive and wistful side on a pair of ballads, "Whistle for Will" and "Privacy of Our Love." Taylor's delicate vocals on those tracks are reminiscent of Paul McCartney--a likely touchstone given this quirky ensemble's broad range of influences.
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] catchy tunes, monster grooves, and lyrics resolving the heartfelt and the smartass."
Rolling Stone (p.96) - Ranked #49 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "With irresistible party-starters..."
Spin (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Hot Chip enliven their mix of indie club and British music hall with a surreal playfulness. This is some serious whimsy."
Spin (p.51) - Ranked #08 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "The gawky Brits have nearly perfected their giddy blue-eyed robo-soul."
Uncut (p.86) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "On this rich and touching LP they confidently draw upon their diverse influences and skill sets in new, often inventive way without spoiling the delicate nature of their songs."
Alternative Press (p.146) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "DARK finds Hot Chip shaping their big ideas into inventive, streamlined songs."
The Wire (p.49) - "Their focused, cleverly crafted pop riffs are impressive....'Bendable Poseable' has richly layered percussion with bleeps and twirls kneaded into an inspired, sticky mass."
Q (Magazine) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "MADE IN THE DARK pulses with an unusual intelligence and creative bravery."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "MADE IN THE DARK is incredibly precise....'Hold On' best articulates their uneasy aesthetic, the clash between dancefloor hedonism and detached pop intellectualism..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's a newfound decisiveness, a move toward heavier beats, meatier grooves and warmer sentiments."
Harp (magazine) (p.102) - "Bo Diddley beats, sincere ballads, seriocomic stereo manipulations, straight up electro dance jams: Hot Chip proves to be multi-faceted and ever evolving..."
Clash (magazine) (p.106) - "Opener 'Out At The Pictures' kicks things off in great style. An off kilter snapping beat sets up the tune before it breaks into anew and improved Hot Chip funky break complete with buzzes, whirrs and whoops."
Clash (magazine) (p.65) - Ranked #24 in Clash's "The 40 Best Albums of 2008" -- "MADE IN THE DARK glows with the promise of an album that'll last the pace for years and mark Hot Chip out as relentless alchemists..."
The Word (magazine) (p.92) - "['Made In The Dark'] is an instantly affecting ballad....Here and on the closing 'In The Privacy Of Our Love,' the handbags and spilled drinks are a million miles away....These are affecting revealing love songs..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "MITD's first four tracks present a masterclass in dancefloor-batteriing electro..."