Chromeo Fancy Footwork Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

A shameless return to the glistening, sex-saturated synth-pop which ruled the eighties.

Robert Jackman 2007

Chromeo are Dave 1, a Ph. D student in French literature, and P. Thugg, his childhood friend and fellow hip hop anorak. You might have heard of them: back in 2004, their blend of tongue-in-cheek electro-funk caused a stir with the release of debut album She’s In Control. And, after a short absence, their follow up album, Fancy Footwork – a record which lists Rick James and Eddie Murphy among its influences – hopes to get people talking again.

Hearing that, not everyone will be convinced. After all, Chromeo are hardly the only band pedalling eighties influences. But, while indie fusionists may toy with the occasional synthesiser, Chromeo aren’t afraid to go that one step further. In short, their music is a shameless return to the glistening, sex-saturated synth-pop which ruled that decade.

On Fancy Footwork, the duo blend quivering synths with clean, metronomic drum beats. And, somehow, by tossing together the trends of yesteryear, they manage to create a fresh and exciting sound. But what makes Fancy Footwork so infectious is its zest and imagination. Chromeo don’t just sound like their synth-pop ancestors; they think like them too. Take opening track “Tenderoni”, for example – a reckless blend of gadgets last seen in Peter Frampton’s wheelie bin and lyrics so sleazy they’d make even R. Kelly blush.

Again, while 80s kitsch might be the flavour of the month – and one which many are quickly tiring of – Fancy Footwork is one of the few records which captures both the sound and spirit of the decade.

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