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Adult Contemporary sees Chromeo return to form

"Adult Contemporary"

Release date: 16 February 2024
15 February 2024, 12:00 Written by David Cobbald

Now in their 20th year, Canadian funk duo Chromeo are back with their sixth solo album after collaborating left right and centre since the pandemic.

Since 2020’s Quarantine Casanova EP celebrating all things lockdown, Chromeo’s Dave 1 and P-Thugg have put out Bend The Rules with Anomalie, and CLUSTERFUNK with Ric Wilson and Dave 1’s brother A-Trak. While these have been solid collaboration efforts, they’ve been missing the tongue-in-cheek stylings of a Chromeo solo album like 2014’s White Women and 2018’s Head over Heels.

Now, on Adult Contemporary, the pair have swung the other way on the collaboration pendulum, and instead of the typical handful of appearances from the likes of Solange, DRAM, Amber Mark and Stefflon Don, they’ve opted for a single feature with none other than La Roux on “Replacements.” After reworking her classic “Bulletproof” into last year’s single “Discoproof,” it’s a natural choice for them, but the record feels a little empty without any other features – perhaps these few years of working with others has worn them out.

What hasn’t changed for this record is the duo’s warm, comical, and rather on the nose lyrics. It’s what the band are known for, and their unique way of storytelling is prominent on “Words With You,” where Dave 1 laments a relationship falling apart through words that aren’t exactly poetry, and on “BTS” as he puts rest above sex on his priority list. It’s clear that the lyrics of these songs don’t take precedence over the music, and the whole point is to enjoy the funky music first and foremost – which is rather refreshing in a world of serious music. However, there are moments where the lyrics fall into the realm of being lazy, like on “Lonesome Nights,” “Ballad of the Insomniacs,” and “Lost and Found” where they take you out of the vibes and into a head-shaking frown.

Chromeo have always harnessed funk’s natural power to raise spirits and brighten moods with their sound, but on Adult Contemporary they take it to the next level. “CODA” is a prime example of the former with its body-moving beats and fun lyrics, but “Got It Good” takes it one step further with a euphoric chorus that leans into its disco influence with a smile on its face. “Friendsnlovers” too, is a great album closer as it takes that warmth and applies it to the curtain call, rounding out the record as the credits roll. What’s notable though is “A Cut Above,” as it’s the only slow-dance track on the album and might be one of, if not the first that the duo have released that isn’t an interlude. While it’s a new venture, they’ve done well to blend it into their output without jarring the listener.

Adult Contemporary is a whole lot of fun, and furthers Chromeo’s mission to take the seriousness out of modern day music. Chromeo’s trajectory remains in tact with this release, and shows that funk truly never goes out of style.

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