"Don't Turn the Lights On"
Released: June 28, 2010
Released: January 7, 2011
"When the Night Falls"
Released: July 25, 2011
Business Casual is the third studio album by Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo, released on September 14, 2010 by Last Gang Records and Turbo Recordings. The album is Chromeo's major-label debut, following the duo's signing to Atlantic Records. Upon its release, Business Casual was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. Four singles were released from the album: "Night by Night", "Don't Turn the Lights On", "Hot Mess", and "When the Night Falls".
"Don't Turn the Lights On" was released on June 28, 2010 as the second single from Business Casual, and its music video was directed by Keith Schofield.
"Hot Mess" served as the album's third single. An alternative version of the song featuring Elly Jackson of La Roux was released in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2011, while the original album version was released in the United States on February 15 and in Canada on March 1. The accompanying video, directed by Jérémie Rozan, was shot in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The duo performed "Hot Mess" on Conan on February 21, 2011.
"When the Night Falls" was released on July 25, 2011 as the album's fourth and final single. The song's video was directed by Daniels and features Solange Knowles, who also provides additional vocals for the track.
Business Casual received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 19 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly wrote that despite the duo's major-label deal, "[o]n Business Casual they remain adept students of the Hall & Oates school of hooks, which they surround with gleaming synth grooves and robotic talkbox solos that recall '80s funk masters like Zapp & Roger." Chris Martins of The A.V. Club stated that the album "opens with a powerful three-part salvo crafted for maximum dance-floor penetration. [...] But as the album progresses, an unexpected soulfulness emerges". Anupa Mistry of URB remarked, "The defining thread running through Chromeo's body of work is earnestness: you might scoff at the Lothario-obsession, the legs on display in the artwork, the almost-religious adherence to '80s stylistics, but in the end you either have to a) give it up for their studiousness, or b) just dance." Marc Hogan of Spin opined that Business Casual's "libidinous wit can't quite match 2007's Fancy Footwork, but this day at the office still features booty calls, romantic squabbles, and digitally syrupy declarations of devotion."
Slant Magazine's Jesse Cataldo found the album to be "transparent and tacky enough that its not becoming insufferable is a triumph in itself. Its earnestness, and the enthusiasm which it presents its reconstituted '80s sounds, is even lovable." AJ Ramirez of PopMatters felt that "Chromeo still won't win any points for originally or distinctiveness", but noted, "For the majority of its runtime, Business Casual booms with the allure of a greatest hits collection, and actually stands as a more consistent work than the full-length efforts of many of Chromeo's influences."AllMusic's Jason Lymangrover commented that the album has "the typically synth-suave electro-funk jams [...] As the album progresses, though, [the duo] dig[s] deeper into crates for cheesy inspiration, and you can hear glimmers of Rockwell, Lionel Richie, Oran Juice, and even The Kids from Fame TV series."Pitchfork Media's Larry Fitzmaurice suggested that the album's "most successful moments are the result of genre-related leg-stretching", adding that "the record is a unique situation, as it represents Chromeo's growth as master arrangers and producers, despite feeling like a step backwards in overall quality." Kevin Ritchie of Now concluded that "Business Casual has a few bangers, but over the course of an album, the synth soloing gets old fast. Still, while we wait for a pop saviour to take the genre forward, Chromeo provide a nice enough tribute to its past." In a review for the NME, Mike Williams expressed that "Cassius man Phillippe Zdar's production is a deluxe weave of dreamy synths, biting snares, throbbing bass and warbly Vocoders, but it feels as if Chromeo are just doodling knobs over the top."