Chromeo

She's in Control

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The beats buzz and the snarky sensuality tickles, even if Pee Thug and Dave swear they don't want it to. Chromeo's She's in Control is dirty late-night fun simply because it has fun. It begins abruptly with the distorted synth pop update "Me & My Man." "This is the new sound" (it's not), "We came to get down" (they did), "Our name is Chromeo" (it is), "And we are in control" (that's up to you) -- it's only the first few measures of the album, and the duo has already established its tongue-in-your-cheek take on merging both the questionable and the cool from genres past into its own peach fuzz-and-ascot come-on. Serious? Farce? Who cares? Like Fannypack, Chromeo runs its musical resale shop out of a stall located behind the velvet rope. (Check DFA remixes and American distribution through Vice Records as proof.) Thankfully, Pee and Dave back up their pedigree with a clutch of great tracks. The detached chill of "Needy Girl" riffs on Yaz as it sketches the minutia of a casual sex relationship, while the cheeky "Woman Friend" features vintage vocal processing and an insistent cowbell disco bump. References to new romantic, new jack swing, and the new power generation continue flirting with one another more or less successfully over the duration of She's in Control, kept at the party by Pee's genuine flair for beat and genre recombination and Dave's handful of enjoyable, if not particularly genuine, vocal personas. Its singles are naturally the best part, but stay tuned for the mid-album instrumental "Since You Were Gone," which reimagines "Easy Lover" by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins as keyboard-heavy karaoke for Cylons.

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