Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chromeo Review - Glide Magazine

DJ performances are often hit-or-miss affairs for me, as I thrive on the act of spontaneous musical creation in the moment. But Chromeo is an exception of sorts, a hybrid "band" of two dudes who perform their songs accompanied by pre-programmed backing tracks. The experience is super-fun for those who come to dance their retro-butts off, though it left me somewhat wanting in musical creativity. But apples and oranges, I suppose. The guys are clearly talented musicians if they're cranking out track after track of insanely catchy, finely-honed retro-electro-pop. The fact of the matter is that they have a huge arsenal of sing-along worthy, funky-as-hell anthems that are guaranteed to please any crowd. Here's my review of their East Bay performance:

One element of Chromeo's music that is hard to put your finger on is the level of irony present in their deliberate nods to cheesy 80's music. At first, it seemed that they were clearly tongue-in-cheek with their music's smooth Yacht Rock references (soaring sax solos and analog synths). But as time went on and they blew up, the line of irony started to blur, especially when they collaborated with Daryl Hall himself. At this point in their career, the Chromeo sound seems pretty irony-free.

But that doesn't mean these guys now take themselves seriously or anything. Case in point, their appearance on Yo-Gabba-Gabba:

And here they are in a joint set with Daryl Hall at Bonnaroo 2010 in full-band mode, with a Chromeo-ized version of "I Can't Go For That." (The vocoder being Chromeo's signature stamp on the tune.)

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