Old 45’s – Chromeo

I found myself in a rotten mood this week. I’ve felt really overwhelmed by multiple obligations and even things that I enjoy have been a source of stress.

I’m basically Gus-Gus here.

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So I plugged in my headphones simply to cover up my attitude, and I found that Chromeo’s song just kept returning to the mix.

For some reason, “Old 45’s” is the perfect mix of uptempo, but not-too-obnoxious for my mood. It actually made me (dare I say) cheer up a bit.

While Chromeo is compared to Daft Punk, according to an article published on Consequence of Sound, they want their most recent release, White Women, to embody the same defining traits as Red Hot Chili Peppers iconic 1991 release, Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

“All the elements—they just had an extra sheen, to where you could start listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Blood Sugar, and you had everything in there already,” he says. “I wanted White Women to be that for us, in that it’s like the sum of everything we’ve done. It’s our most accomplished work, but from there, you just get a new shot at another 10 years.”

While I’m not normally a fan of electronic/dance pop music, Chromeo is able to add that element of funk that makes their music more palatable for me. They include artists like Solange and Ezra Koenig (of Vampire Weekend) and strive to make their music “fun.”

Usually I hate the word “fun.” “I’m a fun girl.” “I’m just looking to have fun.” It trivializes the word and I tend to associate it with shallow people and lifestyles. But truly, Chromeo is just that: fun.

Their music is approachable, listenable, and goes down smoothly, like a deliciously well-mixed drink. They cite not only the Chili Peppers, but Hall & Oates, and The White Stripes as influences.

Chromeo retro soul with funk and modern dance and it just seems to make sense. They’re also unapologetic and very purposeful with their image. Read the following excerpt from the Electronic Beats interview with them, and you’ll see what I mean.

The album has a few nods to lofty ideas as well. The title, White Women, is a reference to Helmutt Newton’s seminal 1976 photobook. Why?

DM: Newton’s photos have always been an important visual influence because he’s another artist, like us, who mixes highbrow and lowbrow. The image of a woman’s legs we use is actually a tribute to him. We also related to the fact that a lot of what he did wasn’t considered art until after he died. And we loved the idea of using that title because it’s so bold, it could have even been the name of a Van Halen record. On a symbolic level it provides a ‘metatext’ for the record too; on the cover we’re having a three-way wedding…

PG: Yeah, it’s like we’re an Arab-Jewish duo making black music on a record called White Women, and it kind symbolizes the fact we’ve been in the band for such a long time too; it mixes things up.

Overall, I can see Chromeo being the kind of band that I listen to on a summer roadtrip, or while on vacation, relaxing and forgetting my worries. After all, their music helped me escape my “system overload” during this hectic week.

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