Chromeo, self-proclaimed “funklordz” who have steadily and rightfully built their reputation as such, have reemerged after a four-year hiatus with their new album, White Women, borrowing the title from Helmut Newton’s 1976 book of the same name. And it was well worth the wait.
The Canadian duo delivers a fresh and polished album in the form of poppy-disco beats and sappy tongue-in-cheek lyrics of jealousy, love and of course, partying.
Chromeo Return with ‘White Women’
The album opens with the strongest track and most recent single, “Jealous (I Ain’t With It).” The song is infinitely more pop driven than the group’s previous efforts, but it’s pulled off with a catchy hook and rhythmic bass line, easily making the tune a top contender for song of the summer.
The lyrics are fully definitive of what Chromeo aims to be: outwardly sexy and cool on one hand, while being schmucks riddled with neurosis on the other; one-half of the duo, Dave 1, sings “I get jealous but I’m too cool to admit it.”
Another standout from the album is “Come Alive,” which features Toro y Moi, who helps deliver the album’s standard party track. The tune is directed towards the woman of their desire, working double shifts, encouraging her, and ultimately the listener, to come alive “before you lose your mind.”
“Jealous (I Ain’t With It)”
Other collaborators on White Women include Solange Knowles and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, who have worked with the group previously. Knowles and Koenig lend their voices to “Lost on the Way Home” and “Ezra’s Interlude,” respectively. Knowles’ soulful vocals compliment the synth driven ballad and provide a much needed slowed-down intermission. Koenig’s tune features the perfect amount of classic Chromeo sappiness, with both singers giving up on their respective relationships, over a beautiful piano ballad.
However, the album falters in the form of “Sexy Socialite,” which takes a giant step backwards in terms of sound. The group often straddles the line between self-aware camp and full-on joke (see: older tracks like “Momma’s Boy”), and while “Sexy Socialite” contains elements often associated with Chromeo’s music, it is the weakest track in comparison to the rest of the albums progressive sound. “Somethinggood” and “Frequent Flyer” suffer from the same fate.
“Come Alive” ft. Toro y Moi
Luckily, the missteps are few and far between, allowing the group to finally shine without being hunkered down by the excess of albums past. Tracks such as “Over Your Shoulder” and “Old 45’s” make up for the weaker songs with the right amount of funky nostalgia.
White Women may very well be Chromeo’s best effort to date, having cultivated their sound into a neater version of what we already know and love about the group. While a few tracks seem misplaced in their new body of work, they are outshined by the electro funk duo’s fresh take on the sounds of decades past.
Verdict: The album is well worth the listen and may be the final push to throttle Chromeo into the world of mainstream radio.
Key Tracks: “Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” “Come Alive,” “Old 45’s”
Article by Raefa Alsalah