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Chromeo Present Sixth Album, ‘Adult Contemporary’

Canadian duo Chromeo’s recently released sixth studio ‘Adult Contemporary,’ places a compelling emphasis on music over lyrics, inviting listeners to indulge in a sonic journey where melodies take centre stage. Refreshingly straightforward, the album’s lyrics deliver a dose of light-hearted fun without taking themselves too seriously, creating an atmosphere of carefree enjoyment.

‘(I Don’t Need a) New Girl’ immediately grabs your attention with a lively intro featuring funky bass lines, bright synths and a techno beat. The syncopated rhythm adds a unique touch, smoothly transitioning into a fast-paced verse. Continuing on, ‘Got It Good’ kicks off with an upbeat energy that immediately lifts and reintroduces the familiar groovy elements of the album. However, in contrast to the opening song, it creates more of an atmosphere of contentment, relaxation, and cheerfulness.

The third track, ‘Lost And Found’, marks a departure from funk influence and embraces a synthwave aesthetic, followed by ‘BTS’, characterised by a robust beat and lively guitar, juxtaposing the long-held vocal notes with rhythmic disco guitar bends. The fusion of 70s disco strings, 80s analog synths, and rapid modulation provides the track with a robotic edge, skillfully blending retro and contemporary elements for auditory flair.

‘Replacements (feat. La Roux)’ follows, starting with a pulsating synth in the verses, creating a sense of anxious waiting that captures the emotional journey of searching for new love. The chorus shifts to an upbeat, brightly synthesised 80’s synth-pop sound, expressing the futility of replacing a past love. Similarly, ‘Lonesome Nights’ paints an atmospheric backdrop for lonely city nights with 80’s pop inflections and a descending melodic lines.

Momentum shifts with ‘Personal Effects,’ opening strongly with an infectiously catchy melody and smooth vocals, adding a layer of cheekiness to the atmosphere. Immediately following, ‘She Knows It (Personal Effects pt. 2),’ delivers a disco-infused groove as a lively reprise, maintaining the upbeat dance energy with an infectious beat and guitar riff. This two-parter injects a dose of fun and charisma, contributing to the dynamic and enjoyable continuation of the album’s overall vibe and instrumental theme.

Catapulting listeners into a vibrant party mood, ‘Ballad Of The Insomniacs’ stands out with its funk-infused energy, featuring a commanding dance beat, catchy melody, and a clever blend of classic 80’s funk sounds with contemporary groove. The track skillfully builds layers in the chorus, utilizing call and response between backing vocals and synth leads to enhance its dynamic, party-ready vibe. Seamlessly transitioning to ‘CODA’ with a simple dance beat reminiscent of classic 80’s keyboards, the infectious song unfolds with a captivating dialogue between lead vocals and luscious harmonies.

Rounding off the funky and bright palette, ‘Words With You’ channels a ‘Staying Alive’ Bee Gees beat, creating a dynamic atmosphere. The inclusion of brass staccato notes in the chorus adds urgency, enhancing the track’s energetic vibe. Contrastingly, ’A Cut Above’ deliberately slows down the album’s tempo, offering an atmospheric and moody slow dance. This melancholic track stands out as a poignant moment, showcasing a different emotional depth compared to the rest of the album.

Concluding the album, ‘Friendsnlovers’ transports listeners to the 80s with a pop-infused sound, featuring shimmering synths that evoke a light and airy atmosphere. Despite its upbeat tempo, there’s a bittersweet undertone, echoing the theme of surrendering to the challenge of intertwining friendship with romance. This flows seamlessly into ‘Two of Us (Friendsnlovers pt.2)’ – a melancholic reprise that captures a new perspective, demonstrating the disappointment associated with the situation, where friendship and love cannot coexist. This poignant track beautifully encapsulates the complexities of navigating relationships, emulating the feeling of ‘giving up’ and adding a layer of emotional depth to the album.

From infectious beats to introspective depths, ‘Adult Contemporary’ showcases a dynamic fusion of 80’s funk, pop, and disco, versatility and clever lyricism. With playful melodies and a modern twist on nostalgic sounds, Chromeo delivers a spirited celebration of the past, making it a standout addition to their discography.

Written by John Zebra