Night Drive (album)

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Night Drive
Studio album by Chromatics
Released 2007
Recorded 2007
Genre Indie rock, synthpop, post-punk revival, Italo disco
Length 58:08 (Original)
79:33 (Deluxe Edition)
Label Italians Do It Better
Producer Johnny Jewel
Chromatics chronology
Plaster Hounds
(2004)
Night Drive
(2007)
In Shining Violence
(2007)
2010 Deluxe Edition Cover

Night Drive (alternatively known as Original Motion Picture Soundtrack IV) is the third studio album by Chromatics, released in 2007 on the Italians Do It Better record label. The label reissued an analogue remaster of the album as a "Deluxe Edition" in 2010, on both CD and double LP formats. A limited print run of the double LP was pressed on colored vinyl: blue for Sides A and B, and red for Sides C and D.[1] The "Deluxe Edition" restores five tracks that had originally constituted Side D of the album, but had been scrapped before the original 2007 release date due to technical problems and time constraints.[2]

With this album, the Chromatics made a drastic departure [3] from their previously punk sound, as they pursued a new direction reminiscent of Italo disco. It is the first full-length Chromatics album to feature singer Ruth Radelet, Drummer Nat Walker, and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel. Only guitarist Adam Miller had been featured on the band's previous LPs.

Musical content[edit]

The album's title may be a reference to a 1985 single ("Night Drive"/"Time Space Transmat") by Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins.[4]

Opening track "The Telephone Call" contains samples from "Lady Operator" by Mirage and from the Chromatics' own tracks "The Killing Spree" and "Let's Make This A Moment To Remember." It sketches out a plot involving a female protagonist who, after spending an evening at a nightclub, is about to drive home to meet her boyfriend. It ends with a sample of a car driving off, and then segues into the title track. Accordingly, these opening two tracks, along with album closer "Accelerator," suggest that the album may be a concept album about a late night drive.[5]

The words of "I Want Your Love" contain a reference to the song "96 Tears" by ? & The Mysterians

"Running Up that Hill" is a cover version of the first track from Kate Bush's 1985 album, Hounds of Love.

The guitar solo in "Healer" contains a musical quotation from Joy Division's "Shadowplay," from its 1979 album, Unknown Pleasures.[6]

Album closer "Accelerator" contains an interpolation of chords from the album's title track.[2]

"Tick of the Clock" has been used in numerous Hollywood films, including Drive and Taken 2. It has been licensed for commercial usage in ad campaigns for National Geographic, AIDS awareness, Miss America, Major League Baseball, HTC, Fox Sports, and many others.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "The Telephone Call"   1:51
2. "Night Drive"   3:44
3. "I Want Your Love"   6:41
4. "Running Up that Hill"   6:07
5. "The Killing Spree"   3:59
6. "Healer"   3:54
7. "Mask"   5:35
8. "Tomorrow Is So Far Away"   7:06
9. "Let's Make This A Moment To Remember"   3:33
10. "Tick Of The Clock"   15:45

Personnel[edit]

Recorded at Suite 304 during Summer 2007 for Italians Do It Better.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Boston Phoenix 3/4 stars link
Pitchfork Media (8.3/10) 2008
Resident Advisor 4/5 stars link
Spin Magazine 4/5 stars link
Stylus Magazine (C+) link

In a review for Allmusic, K. Ross Hoffman marveled at how "the album evokes widescreen opulence with a sonic palette that extends beyond the bedrock of synths, guitars, and drum machines to include touches of organ, strings, flutes, and so on, but it's always used sparingly, rarely outstepping the group's meticulously minimal, carefully controlled arrangements".[7] Andrew Graham, writing for the Boston Phoenix, praised the 2010 remastered and expanded version of the album, calling "Circled Sun" a "newly unearthed gem" and stating that "In less capable hands, Night Drive's parts might blur together into a soporific whole, but Chromatics don't let the production dominate".[8] A negative review by Nina Phillips in Stylus Magazine called the album "poorly produced," criticized "Tomorrow Is So Far Away" for its repetitive structure, and cited "Tick Of The Clock" as a "conceptual failure".[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chromatics - Night Drive (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b Leo Chiao. "Italians Do It Better Store". Troublemanunlimited.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Chromatics: Night Drive | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Chromatics - Night Drive - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  5. ^ "Dusted Reviews: Chromatics - Night Drive". Dustedmagazine.com. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Track Review: Chromatics 'Healer' | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  7. ^ "K. Ross Hoffman's Review Of "Night Drive" by Chromatics, for Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Andrew Graham's Review Of "Night Drive" by Chromatics, for The Boston Phoenix". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  9. ^ "Nina Phillips' Review Of "Night Drive" by Chromatics, for Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2011-06-22.