Chromeo Grows Up With "Business Casual"
Back again in 2010, Chromeo has released their third album “Business Casual” and this time the world can’t escape the luscious, 80’s synth-dripping funk this duo has single-handedly brought back to contemporary pop music.
Chromeo is a collaboration between two old friends, Dave 1 and P-Thugg. Their musical partnership has had a natural progression that started with their high school band in Montreal. After high school Dave and P started producing hip-hop under the label Audio Research. It was these hip hop roots that would eventually expose them to the 80’s styles of Hall n’ Oats, Zapp and Billy Joel. Hip-hop greats like Snoop, Dre and Warren G were sampling their music and when Dave and P started buying records they realized all those hooks and beats came from the days of Pac man, acid-wash, shoulder pads and fanny-packs. And those days are most definitely back.
Like their relationship, Chromeo’s musical progression into mainstream has been organic. Their first studio album release “She’s In Control” in 2004, was not a huge success as a whole but their single, “Needy Girl”, became a worldwide hit. The song gave them enough cred to go on tour, and eventually put out their second album “Fancy Footwork” in 2007. The response was huge, and the album unleashed three hit singles upon dirty dance floors across the globe. It was party-ready pop with catchy hooks, sexified synth and cheeky lyrics to match. Humour has always been a key element to Chromeo’s writing. They like to blur the lines between kidding around and being earnest, leaving it to their audience to decide for themselves. “Fancy Footwork” took them on a two-year world tour, hitting all the big festivals and award shows around the world. From Coachella to Glastonbury, Bonaroo to Conan O’Brian, Chromeo did it all.
When it was time to sit down and start writing for the next album, D admits there was some pressure to live up to the successes of their last one. After two years of touring and playing, P-Thugg had madly improved his piano skills. The two friends took a different approach when crafting songs for this project. Instead of simple bass riffs and electric guitar jams laid on top like in “Tenderoni”, P and D wrote or perfected many of the songs on “Business Casual” with just a piano and vocals. It is being dubbed as their most sophisticated and refined album to date. The sound that propelled them into pop stardom is definitely still there. Songs like “When The Night Falls” and “Hot Mess” will still make you want to go out and get down. But the album also has a lot more depth, which was an intentional stray towards a less pop, more indie type feel says D and P. Long synth jams and smoother songs take up the second half of the album, with one song in particular standing out as a new sound for the duo. “Grow Up” is Chromeo’s next venture into 80’s music. They move from funk to Billy Joel-esque 80’s rockabilly with seamless craftiness. These boys always manage to stay one step ahead of other music producers. Oh what fancy footwork. “Business Casual” is out now.