CHAPPO

Do It

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Arriving in early 2018, CHAPPO's third LP follows the band's playful concept album Future Former Self by three years. The period in between saw touring that included multiple runs with the Flaming Lips, and a series of challenges for the band, both personal and professional. Their drummer, who produced their first two albums, left the group, and remaining members suffered tragic losses, including the deaths of a close friend and a child. After taking some time away from being in a band, the trio decided they had more to do, say, and play with CHAPPO, and recorded Do It with John Vanderslice at his analog studio Tiny Telephone. Bandleader Alex Chappo has remarked that the process of recording to tape with Vanderslice was, to paraphrase, an exercise in living with imperfection and powering forward. While still showing signs of sass and swagger, Do It feels like CHAPPO's Rubber Soul, sounding a little more contemplative, a little older, a little higher, and still refreshingly outside the lines. Speaking of Rubber Soul, "American Dream" kicks off the set with its own Beatlesque guitar lick before settling into a steady groove and lyrics that notice that people always need more than what's right in front of them. Rough edges, like metallic percussion and finger snaps that are repeated but not perfectly replicated, add an extra human element to their often synth-poppy psych-rock. Songs like the infectious "Cry on Me" and "Get Back" -- an original -- continue in kind with varying amounts of gloss and grit. Elsewhere, the band isn't afraid to gather at the front of the stage for more intimate tracks like the seductive "Live My Life," and "Changes," with its acoustic guitar work and subtle electronics. As thoughtful as the record is, the majority of Do It feels vital and affirming; album highlight "White Noise" is an outright banger with rumbling synth bass and skittering drums that make room for Chappo's come-hither tone as well as a few unrestrained yowls. It's one of a handful of songs that take on contemporary grievances like the 24-hour news cycle, corruption, and violence -- as if there isn't enough to deal with without them. CHAPPO delivers it all with a mix of hooks, engaging performances, and good-natured irreverence, ultimately leaving listeners with a closing mantra that would make the Fab Four proud: "We got hope and we got love."

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