"How Do You Do?"
Released: 10 September 2012 (2012-09-10)
"Don't Deny Your Heart"
Released: 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26)
In Our Heads is the fifth studio album by English electronic music band Hot Chip, released on 6 June 2012. It is the band's first album to be released by Domino. The album was self-produced. It was recorded in a span of five months at English record producer Mark Ralph's own Club Ralph studio in London, England. The album's first single "Flutes", for which a video debuted on 15 March 2012, was made available as a free download when pre-ordering the album through Domino. A limited edition 12" vinyl version of the song was eventually available on 2 April 2012. "Night & Day" was released as the second single from the album on 4 June 2012. Prior to that, the Daphni mix of the song was released as a limited edition 12" vinyl on Record Store Day on 21 April 2012. "How Do You Do?" and "Don't Deny Your Heart" were released as the album's second and third singles on 10 September and 26 November 2012, respectively.
In Our Heads has received acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 79, based on 40 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Heather Phares of Allmusic viewed In Our Heads as one of Hot Chip's "most confident, joyous, and danceable albums yet", as well as the band's "most direct album yet, delivering their quirks and grooves with bigger, broader strokes that don't feel dumbed down".The Guardian journalist Alexis Petridis opined, "No matter where the music on In Our Heads ventures [...] it never feels forced. There's a similar subtlety in the songwriting, which is deeply idiosyncratic without smashing you over the head with its quirkiness." Sean Thomas of Drowned in Sound stated that In Our Heads is "arguably [the band's] consistent record to date", adding that "[t]he over riding result is that Hot Chip now seem infinitely more comfortable and competent in their skins." In a review for PopMatters, Brice Ezell commented that the album "could be the best thing we've heard from [Hot Chip]", concluding that "In Our Heads is proof that Hot Chip are succeeding on their consistently impressive musical journey, and as far as I can see there's still much to be learned from these songwriters."
Pitchfork Media's Larry Fitzmaurice regarded In Our Heads as Hot Chip's "most playful and colorful record yet, an album-length manifestation of that 'sounds of the studio' game that cut straight through the middle of 'Shake a Fist'." He continued, "The songwriting is as strong and intricate than on 2006's classic The Warning, even if it takes a few listens for the finer points to sink in."The Independent 's Simon Price dubbed the album "their most emotional release yet and also their most philosophical—with the complex, seven-minute 'Flutes' and the cascading arpeggios of 'Let Me Be Him' among the finest things Hot Chip have ever achieved musically."BBC Music's Jen Long described In Our Heads as "a record for all occasions, an album that balances sentiment and soul with an ever-evolving talent for constructing infectious pop hooks. It's dance music with feelings". Andy Baber of musicOMH referred to it as "the best album start-to-finish from Hot Chip, one that continues to show their deft range—from infectious disco hits to soulful ballads. It's an impressive return from the quirky five-piece, topping their nearly brilliant fourth album in both scale and ambition."
Evie Nagy of Rolling Stone wrote, "There's unguarded joy in the British quintet's mix of synthed-up grooves and pop songfulness on tracks like 'Don't Deny Your Heart'. Their communal vocals are always warm and nuanced, with leader Alexis Taylor merging Davy Jones' innocence with the mirror-ball yearning of Erasure's Andy Bell." However, Slant Magazine's Kevin Liedel felt that the album "feels like a cut-and-paste job, with whole parts either lifted from previous Hot Chip tracks [...] or blatant counterfeits of their '80s-era influences", while stating that "[t]he only reliable human standby amid the parade of dreary automation is Alexis Taylor's voice, which remains as pristine and angelic as ever". Thom Gibbs of the NME expressed, "From start to finish, it has an educated and intense eye on the dancefloor, and it sounds fantastic", but concluded by saying, "Lively and upbeat, but naggingly sterile. Tasteful and perfectly executed, but workmanlike." Simon Butcher of Clash magazine dismissed In Our Heads as "an '80s-inspired album lacking in pace", citing tracks like "Motion Sickness", "Night & Day" and "Flutes" as "glimmers of liveliness on an otherwise decedent [sic] record".