Buy: White Women
Before coming across the two singles of Chromeo, an electro-funk duo from Canada, I had never heard of them, especially weird being that it’s their fourth album that has just come out. Picking up White Women on the back of two very strong singles, this album proves to be the soundtrack of the early summer – with a strong modern Daft Punk vibe that will please fans of last year’s Random Access Memories, a selection of catchy numbers with a strong production feel, and a fun vibe to all twelve tracks, even if it doesn’t manage to keep the pace for the second half of the LP.
White Women is laid top heavy with their two biggest singles. ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It)’ is a stormer of a song to open the album with and sums up the whole theme and is arguably the best number on the record. Funky and catchy, with a strong singable vibe, this fast-paced number feels like the perfect summer song. It’s complimented by track number two, the first song that I heard by them, a collaboration with Toro y Moi called ‘Come Alive’. With a first album Calvin Harris vibe throughout, this is another must-hear track with the balance of the different vocals working really well and a strong breakdown boosts the song in its closing minute.
Track three ‘Over Your Shoulder’ is a Jamiroquai-like slower number, perhaps a little overshadowed by the two-hit opener but it will win you over with its feel of ‘The Game of Love’ or ‘Touch’ from Daft Punk’s recent album. Though less impactful than the opening numbers, the electronic style gives it a sexy appeal.
Onto ‘Sexy Socialite’ and this feels like the big number of the piece and the catchiest on the record. With a fast-tempo and fun lyrics, it’s a buzz for four minutes, especially with the call-and-response section with the guest vocals. It does, perhaps, outstay its welcome with the last minute or so lacking any fresh ideas and repeating itself too much, but does keep the flame alive with a bit of vocoder work.
‘Lost on the Way Home’ with Solange Knowles on the vocals refreshes things and the focus around her voice changes the style of the album. A slower number but still with a funky bassline, the slower pace still works and the song builds to a neat ending. ‘Play the Fool’, more mid-tempo and smoother, has a memorable chorus but it’s the most dynamic song on the album.
Hitting the second half of the album ‘Hard To Say No’ fits the mood of the record with some strong synth and vocal effects but it’s not the most outstanding track. The stripped-back, finger-clicking ‘Ezra’s Interlude’ which follows is the closest the record gets to a ballad and the powerful falsetto works for the track.
The next best song is number nine, ‘Old 45s’, a very catchy number with a flick of the titular retro-fuelled hook. With a noticeable seventies vibe and another hook around the lyrics of ‘you think romance is dead and gone’, make this a sultry, enjoyable track.
Into the final quarter of ‘White Women’ and ‘Somethingood’ boasts the repeated hook of the title and the constant stop and start gives it a certain alertness, but it feels at times like a disconnected piece of different, inconsistent ideas.
The gospel tinged ‘Frequent Flyer’ boasting the falsetto of the guest artist and the deeper vocals of David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel of Chromeo works well, with a rap thrown in for good measure, and it works. There may be a few cheesy metaphors in place but there’s a nice use of lyrics.
The album ends on a funkier note with ‘Fall Back 2U’ with a recognisable ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ style rhythm, held together with some well-timed hand claps. It’s certainly a cool end to an album with its ‘Never Too Late To Try’ hook.
Overall ‘White Women’ is a great album to kick off the summer, with four solid songs in ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It)’, ‘Come Alive’, ‘Sexy Socialite’ and ‘Old 45s’ but the other eight tracks aren’t slackers either. With a good mix of ideas and a focus on the catchy it’s well worth picking up even if it does run out of steam in the second half of the album.