Chromeo stays true to roots in fourth album, White Women

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It has been 10 years since electrofunk duo Chromeo entered the music scene with its first hit “Needy Girl.” Since then, its tracks have used an assortment of ‘70s disco and ‘80s synths and funk to create a lovable dance vibe that will bounce between your ears. The duo’s fourth album, White Women, is no different. The album is a vocal allusion to fashion photographer Helmut Newton’s 1976 monograph of the same name, which presents the story of a dismantled lover who struggles to develop trust for the mesmerizing pretty women in his life.

Despite its flashy sound and upbeat drums, the duo is one of the few artists that still concentrate on songwriting. Through his high-pitched conversational voice, Dave 1 balances his suggestive lyrics in ironic disposition as he recounts his character’s experience with women. Emphasizing an obsession with a woman’s flashiness and appeal as he does in “Sexy Socialite” may not be outright offensive, but through lyrics such as “when you wanna spend the night, all you do is roll your eyes,” he glorifies a woman using her physical beauty as social currency.

Sonically, Chromeo stays true to its roots on White Women by combining funk with an electrifying attitude that pays homage to numerous eras of music. But there isn’t much individuality between tracks and, after a while, the album begins to blend into one long drawn out song. Repetitive drumlines and simple guitar riffs occupy the frontline and the vocals simply fade into the background. Nonetheless, Chromeo implements a unique old-school buzz to the electronic genre, and the popular opening song, “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” — which has a Katy Perry “Last Friday Night” vibe — is something worth checking out. White Women is an improvement on the duo’s LP, Business Casual, but the two are going to have to diversify their sound if they hope to popularize more than singles. 

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