Chromeo, White Women

Rich Juzwiak

By Rich Juzwiak

on 05.13.14 in Reviews

White Women


“Jealous (I Ain’t With It),” the opening track on the Canadian electrofunk revivalist duo Chromeo’s fourth album White Women, initially sounds like a ringer for Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.” You could almost see it going Top 40, too — singer Dave 1′s taunting voice, always on the brink of falsetto, makes most everything sound like a novelty song. “Jealous,” however, is a fleeting moment of RedOne/Dr. Luke aping on White Women, which otherwise finds Chromeo doing more of the same hooky/jokey post-disco noodling they’ve always done with minor expansions.

Knocking them for being cheesy is missing the point

White Women is moderately more lush (check the sumptuous strings on the slick closer “Fall Back 2u” or the lovely piano/synth ballad “Ezra’s Interlude,” featuring Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig) and daring (“Sexy Socialite” is briskly paced new wave, and thus barely danceable) than previous Chromeo albums. But the more they change, the more they resemble the past work of other people — the lovely Solange duet “Lost on the Way Home” has slow, throbbing synths a la the ones Giorgio Moroder gave to Berlin for “Take My Breath Away,” and chord progression is nearly identical to Solange’s own “Lovers in the Parking Lot.” References to the Doobie Brothers, Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” Yaz, and Italo disco cult jam “True Love” by NOIA seem intentional, and part of the fun of listening to Chromeo is playing Spot the Reference. And part of the chore is putting up with Dave 1′s sporadically corny lyrics (“Yep it’s the boy with glasses/ Giving you boarding passes/ And if the flight’s delayed/ You might miss all your morning classes” in “Frequent Flyer”). But knocking Chromeo for being cheesy is missing the point: Chromeo is a celebration of cheese itself.