Chromeo: Head Over Heels Album Review
The electronic French-Canadian duo Dave 1 and P- Thugg of Chromeo are back with their 5th studio album, Head Over Heels. After 2 years of tinkering and perfecting, Chromeo has released their most collaborative album to date, sporting artists such as DRAM, The Dream, and French Montana. Reaching their 5th album, Chromeo was ready to celebrate and incorporate a variety of artists to join them in what Dave 1 affectionately refers to as their love letter to all of their influences.
Often being referred to as a modern Hall and Oates, Chromeo is a polished electronic funk duo with a style stemming right from some of funk’s most prominent periods. Chromeo is arguably most recognizable for their massively successful 4th album, White Women, which sported some of their most successful hits such as, “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” and “Old 45’s”. Even with their critical success and droves of fan support for their 4th album, Chromeo was criticized for not providing enough “straight up funk” on the album. Taking on the challenge with Head Over Heels they intended to deliver in what became an album that hosts a lengthy list of collaborations and an abundance of inspirations that capture funk as a whole by sporting a style that showcases funk as it has evolved.
Pulling together references from bands and artists such as Parliament, Prince, and Funkadelic, Head Over Heels is truly a melting pot of funk influences. Songs such as “Juice” and “Must’ve Been” incorporate a seemingly flawless and crisp sound that captures the listener and makes them uncontrollably have to let loose and enjoy the song’s grasp. The song “Bad Decision” is also a seamlessly perfected track with a style likened to Prince, Wang Chung and oddly enough even a little “Let’s Dance” Bowie-esque flare. Attempting to act as a prism that reflects its listeners to all of the album’s influences, Head Over Heels is clear about its inspirations and is able to deliver a sound that transcends a specific decade.
Growing up in Canada, the duo of Chromeo looked up to some of their favorite American artists as superheroes and wanted to incorporate their styles into an album that felt offhanded and as if it was a glamorized capturing of funk’s roots and current sound. Making their songs feel effortless so that they are fun and don’t feel forced is what Dave 1 considers to be one of the most challenging aspects of their work, “We spend so much time, to make it seem like we made it in five minutes”. Head Over Heels is successful in its mission of making its songs feel organic while at the same time having an almost immaculate resonance. While some of the album’s slower songs don’t pack as much of a punch as the faster tracks, each song holds its own respective relevance and unique quality due in part to the duo’s clever songwriting and catching grooves. Each collaboration feels well-used and even the album’s interlude has a lasting impact on the enjoyment of the album.
While Head Over Heels falls just a tad short of the success of, White Women, it is a well-crafted and polished addition to the Chromeo discography. Dave 1 and P- Thugg deserves a lot of praise for their ability to maintain their seemingly effortless unique style even while working with such a huge list of guest artists. While Chromeo is in a sense battling with their own success, Head Over Heels proves that Chromeo is a duo to look out for and shows that their fresh and crisp funk style isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Scott Perdue is a sophomore majoring in film/video. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.