Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chromeo - White Women

Here is a question for you waveriders.  Who likes a pleasant surprise?  I know I do!  Any kind of nice surprise will due, but I especially enjoy when a surprise comes in musical form.  Who would have thought that someone who enjoys writing about what they consider to be good tunes would find pleasure in an unexpected musical discovery?  Crazy, right?   Well hard as that may be to believe I need you to accept it as truth because it's time to tell you about Chromeo, a group that falls squarely into the aforementioned pleasant surprise category.

Recently a speaker manufacturer named Sonos provided me with a copy of White Women, Chromeo's most recent album.  Acting as a Sonos representative inside a large department store, I played WW along with seven other albums by mainstream artists in an effort to entice shoppers into buying their speakers.  Now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sonos for introducing me to Chromeo.  If it hadn't been for that job I am certain that I would never have listened to this group.

Although I try to keep an open mind about any music that crosses my path, old prejudices die hard.  When I see an approved music list that saddles me with the latest album from Coldplay along with Rascal Flatts' greatest hits, my knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss everything else on that list as music not meant for my enjoyment.  I understand why people like these bands and I am not telling you that either group is terrible.  Listening to their albums did not send me into a homicidal rage, nor did they plunge me into suicidal despair.  They're just not my cup of tea.  Chromeo isn't tea either.  They're a top shelf liquor.

If you have a fondness for 1980's electro-funk then this album is going to blow your mind!  The songs are well constructed, hook-laden, and douse the listener with buckets of energy and infectious groove.  Every track, from album opener "Jealous (I Ain't With It)" to the finale "Fall Back 2U" is a party starter.  Different tempos equal different types of parties but hey, variety is the spice of life.  Special mention must go to the song "Frequent Flyer".  It is absurdly fantastic!  Why do I love this song so much?  Perhaps it's my affinity for the Beverly Hills Cop movies.  Listen to the first five seconds of "Frequent..." and that last statement will make perfect sense, I swear.  Bottom line?  WW is hands down the most lighthearted fun I've had listening to an album in a good long while.

Let's see waveriders.  What else should I mention?  I can tell you that each day I sold those speakers I purposely engineered the playlist so that Chromeo was the last thing I played.  There were two main reasons behind this decision.  First, the music is spectacular.  Second, and more important in the context of people watching, this album has an interesting effect on women within hearing distance.  Regardless of age, ethnicity, or social station the songs on this album cause women to break out in dance (or movement closely related to dance).  It was amazing!  Guys, I am telling you right now.  You need to add WW to your toolkit.  Just promise me that you will only use this album's power for good.  Shake on it?  Good men.

- Penfold

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