February 02, 2004

Chromeo "She's In Control"

You know, the line between parody and sincerity is a very, very thin one, and you've gotta play things very carefully, lest you look foolish. While Har Mar Superstar might think that he's R. Kelley, and while he may have the pipes of Luther, do you think that the world sees him as anything less than a short fat guy with Ron Jeremy hair and bad rapping? Personally, I think he's great and I know he's sincere, but that ain't the image that some people are seeing. Same thing with The Darkness. Sure, they look like they're playing at being a parody metal band, but when you listen to their record, you quickly realize that these guys are The Real Deal.

I have to say that I was initially skeptical about Chromeo's debut album, She's In Control. It just seemed to be...well, let's just say that my internal parody detector kept going off. Two dudes by the names of DJ Dave One and Pee Thug? Instantly questionable, at least to me, but I think my caution lights went on because these guys are called Chromeo and they're obviously inspired by Cameo. On my very first listen to She's In Control I almost expected them to break into "Word Up," and was seriously disapponted when they didn't. Of course, I'll settle for their wonderful "Needy Girl," which sounds almost exactly like Timex Social Club's "Rumors." Not that I mind, of course...if it means you go out and buy the Timex's record, then it's for the best, isn't it?

After repeated listens, though, I started to realize that though these guys may sound funny, I think they're obviously serious about what it is they're doing. Heck, listening to "Me & My Man" and "Destination: Overdrive" is more than fun--it's just a delight, you know? Though some moments are a bit cheesy--I could have lived my life perfectly fine without ever hearing "You're So Gangster"--I have to say I've really enjoyed She's In Control, simply because it's FUN. You know, the thing you're not supposed to have because it's not hip? Yeah, that. That's it. Plus, I'll cut these guys some slack; I'm much more forgiving with debut albums. Will these guys even make another album? Who knows. But for the time being, let's just enjoy what we've got.

She's In Control is a fun, funny album. Parody or serious? It's your call. Rumor has it that this is DFA in disguise, and I wouldn't be surprised; their sound is very similar, even if it's more of an 80's Pop/R&B style. And I gotta say that Pee One's got some pretty mad skills, too, and I bet that these guys are a lot of fun up on stage, which probably puts this album to shame.

Plus, I'm a real sucker for vocoders.

Yeah, they've got vocoders.

Need I say more?

Nah, not really.

--Joseph Kyle

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