Chromeo’s greatest characteristic is the uncompromised, serious nature of the two members’ international lover-boy personas. The bubblegum hooks, clever innuendo lyrics, and loose party atmosphere lead to a good time, but Dave 1 and Pee Thug’s dedication to crafting music so reminiscent of everything disco is what makes it both impressive and worthy of exploring. In a recent interview, Dave 1 said he understood that the band’s sound/image can come off kitschy and shallow but their passion for their brand of music is so deep that there is no way to take it but seriously. He is right. Chromeo’s music is entertaining because of irony, but it also has a sturdier second set of legs. Once the novelty wears off and the facade is stripped away, there are complex and endlessly enjoyable songs at Fancy Footwork‘s core.
Musically, bouncing synths mixed with driving beats rule Fancy Footwork, the follow-up to the band’s 2004 debut, She’s in Control. Most of its tracks are built around flashy harmonies and lyrical adventures about chasing women, loving women and more chasing women. “Tenderoni” is the coming-out party; they announce their arrival with tales of debauched dancing and dance-floor romance complete with a cowbell freak-out and emphatic four-on-the-floor beat. The album’s highlight, “Fancy Footwork,” finds Dave 1 letting his dance moves seal the deal with his lady, while Pee Thug wraps synths around each other into an oblivion of electronic melody. Elsewhere the guys spin tales about stealing another man’s girl, struggling to resist falling in love, unfairly comparing a girl to their mother and most hilariously, calling each other mid-track for love advice (Pee Thug tells Dave 1 to “take her to the movies and you’re gonna work it out”).
After all, this is fun music. It is expertly arranged and meticulously crafted to entertain. Chromeo’s dedication to the placing the hooks, instrumental nuances and melodies in all the right places separates them from being construed as ironic hipsters. The duo’s dedication to the music is clear, and it has allowed these two playboys to craft music perfectly suited for the moments of the party when the music does all the work.