Night Drive (album)

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Night Drive
Night Drive.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 28, 2007
RecordedSummer 2007
GenreItalo disco, electro, synth-pop
Length58:04 (Original)
79:32 (Deluxe Edition)
LabelItalians Do It Better
ProducerJohnny Jewel
Chromatics chronology
Plaster Hounds
Night Drive
In Shining Violence
Deluxe Edition Cover
Thumb Chromatics NightDrive Remixx.jpg

Night Drive (alternatively known as Original Motion Picture Soundtrack IV) is the third studio album by Chromatics, released on August 28, 2007[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

With this album, Chromatics made a drastic departure[4] 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 and drummer Nat Walker. Guitarist Adam Miller and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel 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.[5]

Opening track "The Telephone Call" contains samples from "Lady Operator" by Mirage and from 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.[6]

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 their 1979 album, Unknown Pleasures.[7]

Album closer "Accelerator" contains an interpolation of chords from the album's title track.[3]

"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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The Boston Phoenix3/4 stars[9]
Mojo4/5 stars[10]
Resident Advisor4.0/5[13]
Spin4/5 stars[14]
Stylus MagazineC+[15]
Uncut3/5 stars[16]

In a review for AllMusic, K. Ross Hoffman praised how Night Drive "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".[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".[15]

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".[9]

Track listing[edit]

1."The Telephone Call"1:51
2."Night Drive"3:44
3."I Want Your Love"6:41
4."Running Up That Hill" (Kate Bush cover)6:07
5."Killing Spree (Instrumental)"3:58
8."Tomorrow Is So Far Away"7:06
9."Let's Make This A Moment To Remember (Instrumental)"3:30
10."Tick of the Clock (Instrumental)"15:39
Deluxe Edition Tracks
11."Shining Violence (Instrumental)"3:16
12."Circled Sun"4:07
14."The Gemini"4:00
15."Accelerator (Instrumental)"7:28


  • Johnny Jewel – programming
  • Adam Miller – guitar
  • Ruth Radelet – vocals
  • Nat Walker – drums

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


  1. ^ "Italians Do It Better, Mail Order Store: Chromatics, Night Drive". May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "Chromatics – Night Drive (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Leo Chiao. "Italians Do It Better Store". Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  4. ^ "Chromatics: Night Drive | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. October 11, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Chromatics – Night Drive – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Dusted Reviews: Chromatics – Night Drive". January 11, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "Track Review: Chromatics 'Healer' | Prefix". September 19, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Hoffman, K. Ross. "Night Drive – Chromatics". AllMusic. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Graham, Andrew (November 16, 2010). "Chromatics | Night Drive". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on June 25, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "Chromatics: Night Drive". Mojo: 112. Chromatics' loving reanimation of 'icy' '80s electro locates the broken heart beating below the digital surface, a suite of retro-futuristic yearning that's something close to timeless.
  11. ^ Keller, Jason (May 15, 2008). "Chromatics". Now. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  12. ^ Harvell, Jess (October 11, 2007). "Chromatics: Night Drive". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  13. ^ McNally, Patrick (November 23, 2007). "Chromatics – Night Drive". Resident Advisor. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  14. ^ Beta, Andy (January 2008). "Chromatics: Night Drive: IV". Spin. 24 (1): 96. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  15. ^ a b Phillips, Nina (October 4, 2007). "Chromatics – Night Drive – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  16. ^ "Chromatics: Night Drive". Uncut: 76. [W]hen Radelet's narcotic purr slides over the sparkling guitars of 'Healer' and 'Mask', that's when Chromatics excel.