First Listen: Chromeo, 'Business Casual'

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Chromeo. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Chromeo

Chromeo.

courtesy of the artist

Chromeo, the duo of Patrick Gemayel (a.k.a. P-Thugg) and David Macklovitch (a.k.a. Dave 1), boldly embraces '80s-style electro-funk. The two began working together in high school, originally focusing on hip-hop, but since their 2004 debut (She's in Control), they've energized dance floors worldwide. Their latest release, Business Casual, takes a sophisticated approach to their glossy sound and finds earnest pop ballads coexisting alongside club bangers.

Chromeo continues to hone its songwriting skills — a process its members credit to their recent collaborations with Daryl Hall, with whom Chromeo performed this summer. The retro pop influence is clear, particularly in Business Casual's snappy "Grow Up."

The new album maintains the solid electro-funk foundation for which the duo is known, but it stretches the scope of Chromeo's instrumentation by weaving in richer guitars and spicier synths. Some of the subtleties may surprise fans, particularly in the French lament "J'ai Claque la Porte," in which Dave 1 fingerpicks an acoustic guitar among the drum machines.

Still, the opening track is called "Hot Mess" — this is a lighthearted record, with Chromeo getting the party going with glitzy up-tempo numbers like "When the Night Falls" and "I'm Not Contagious." The pair's signature suave demeanor is apparent in "Night by Night," in which P-Thugg's vocoder chorus paints a vivid picture of pastel casual suits.

Though some audiences may label tunes steeped in four-on-the-floor disco beats as cheesy, Chromeo's tightly crafted songs display rare talent. Business Casual showcases some of the best pop sounds of the '80s, a decade that's often the brunt of musical mockery. But Chromeo unabashedly invites listeners to a big, bright, neon-lit dance floor, and there's never anything wrong with that.

Business Casual will stream here in its entirety until Oct. 4. The album will be released on Sept. 14. Please leave your thoughts on the album in the comments section below.

First Listen: Chromeo, 'Business Casual'

Business Casual

Hot Mess

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: Hot Mess

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Song
Hot Mess
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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I'm Not Contagious

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: I'm Not Contagious

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Song
I'm Not Contagious
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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Night By Night

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: Night By Night

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Song
Night By Night
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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Don't Turn The Lights On

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: Don't Turn The Lights On

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Song
Don't Turn The Lights On
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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You Make It Rough

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: You Make It Rough

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Song
You Make It Rough
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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When The Night Falls

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: When The Night Falls

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Song
When The Night Falls
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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Don't Walk Away

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: Don't Walk Away

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Don't Walk Away
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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J'ai Claque La Porte

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: J'ai Claque La Porte

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Song
J'ai Claque La Porte
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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The Right Type

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: The Right Type

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Song
The Right Type
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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Grow Up

  • Artist: Chromeo
  • Album: Business Casual
  • Song: Grow Up

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Song
Grow Up
Album
Business Casual
Artist
Chromeo
Label
Atlantic
Released
2010

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