Why Make Sense?

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Why Make Sense?
Hot Chip - Why Make Sense.jpg
Cover art for digital and streaming editions
Studio album by Hot Chip
Released 18 May 2015 (2015-05-18)
Recorded 2014
Studio Club Ralph (London, England)
Genre
Length 44:49
Label Domino
Producer
  • Hot Chip
  • Mark Ralph
Hot Chip chronology
In Our Heads
(2012)In Our Heads2012
Why Make Sense?
(2015)
Singles from Why Make Sense?
  1. "Huarache Lights"
    Released: 10 February 2015[1]
  2. "Need You Now"
    Released: 1 April 2015
  3. "Started Right"
    Released: 27 August 2015

Why Make Sense? is the sixth studio album by English electronic music band Hot Chip. It was released in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2015 via Domino and was co-produced by the band and English record producer Mark Ralph. Similar to their previous album, In Our Heads (2012), it was recorded at Ralph's London studio, Club Ralph. For vinyl and compact disc copies of Why Make Sense?, the album's cover art has 130,000 variations of its design, which comprises a set of parallel lines intersecting with each other (known as a moiré pattern) in front of a coloured background. Three official singles have been released from the album: "Huarache Lights", "Need You Now", and "Started Right".

Recording[edit]

Band member Al Doyle explained in an interview that they considered releasing a double album, but held back so as not to be "indulgent".[2] Joe Goddard added that most of the album's songs were written in three to four days, explaining that the band "try to work really quickly so we don't work the life and soul out of it."[2]

In a press release for the album, Goddard stated: "When we were recording, we were getting closer and closer to the sound we make on stage. That kind of freedom makes a massive difference to a few of the tracks on the album; to how the tracks grow."[3] He also said that "musically we all had a desire to strip things right down, not overload it with parts. It relates back to the idea of actually being a band – maybe just one guitar part and one live drum part rather than multiple layers added. Musically, it was an effort to bring a real directness to our music, the kind you'd get on old RnB records."[3]

Release[edit]

The album's title, cover artwork, and track listing were announced on 10 February 2015, alongside the release of the album's first single "Huarache Lights".[1]

The album's second single, "Need You Now", was released on 1 April 2015 along with a music video that was uploaded to the band's YouTube channel on the same day.[4] The song also samples vocals from the song "I Need You Now" by Sinnamon.[5]

Album artwork[edit]

The album artwork for the CD and vinyl release uses a novel printing process designed by Nick Relph and Matthew Cooper. The sleeve varies from each individual print to one of 501 different colours. The artwork also includes a series of parallel lines, which are placed at a differing angles on each individual print. Combined, there are over 130,000 variations for the sleeve. The artwork features a moiré pattern that was inspired by the work of Bridget Riley.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic81/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Consequence of SoundB[9]
Exclaim!8/10[10]
The Guardian4/5 stars[11]
musicOMH4/5 stars[12]
NME8/10[13]
NOW4/5 Ns[14]
Pitchfork7.3/10[15]
Q4/5 stars[16]
Uncut4/5 stars[17]

Why Make Sense? received positive reviews from critics. According to review aggregator website Metacritic, the album has received an average critic score of 81/100 based on 31 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[7] Heather Phares writes on AllMusic that "It's interesting to note that Hot Chip's string of great albums—beginning with Made in the Dark—coincided with their exploration of the joys of long-term relationships. Celebrating monogamy while avoiding monotony applies to how they make music as well: On the surface, Why Make Sense? is another album of wry, kinetic electro-pop from a group that has mastered the style, but it also builds on Hot Chip's roots—and dance music's origins—in ways that sound fresh."[8] Matthew Horton of NME gave the album a score of 8/10, calling it "a record that mostly finds Hot Chip carefree, revelling in the absence of layers of electronic adornment. Stripped back to basics and muttering against the machines, they've never come on so strong."[13] At Paste, Ryan Reed gave the album a rating of 8.5/10 and wrote that the album "revolves around Taylor and Goddard’s usual themes of romantic devotion and friendship. But here, those words are often tinted with modern dread, like the world-weary meditations of the brooding 'Need You Now' ('Caught up in this world / I never dreamed I could belong to a state that don’t see right from wrong') and the title-track’s kraut-punk throb. 'Why make sense when the world around us refuses?' Taylor asks over clattering synths and drums. The universe may be illogical, but Hot Chip has never sounded more purposeful."[18]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Huarache Lights"5:29
2."Love Is the Future" (featuring Posdnuos of De La Soul)4:31
3."Cry for You"4:18
4."Started Right"3:43
5."White Wine and Fried Chicken"3:00
6."Dark Night"5:27
7."Easy to Get"5:10
8."Need You Now"4:45
9."So Much Further to Go"3:12
10."Why Make Sense?"5:14
Total length:44:49

Separate EP[edit]

The deluxe edition of the album includes an EP titled Separate, containing four additional new songs.[19]

No.TitleLength
1."Burning Up"4:10
2."Separate"4:24
3."Move With Me"3:48
4."Re-Harmonize"6:24
Total length:18:46

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[20] 29
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[21] 72
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[22] 30
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[23] 22
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[24] 57
French Albums (SNEP)[25] 85
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 38
Irish Albums (IRMA)[27] 19
Irish Independent Albums (IRMA)[28] 5
Scottish Albums (OCC)[29] 13
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[30] 73
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 53
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 13
UK Dance Albums (OCC)[33] 2
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[34] 2
US Billboard 200[35] 103
US Top Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[36] 3
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[37] 15
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[38] 14
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[39] 20

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Camp, Zoe (10 Feb 2015). "Hot Chip Announce New Album Why Make Sense?, Share "Huarache Lights" Video". Retrieved 11 Feb 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Hot Chip perform three new songs at the second night of the 6 Music Festival". 22 Feb 2015. Retrieved 14 Mar 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Domino - Artists - Hot Chip". Retrieved 31 Mar 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hot Chip - Need You Now (Official Video)". YouTube. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (18 May 2015). "Review: Hot Chip's 'Why Make Sense?'". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Inside Hot Chip's 100,000 Album Covers". 14 Mar 2015. Retrieved 4 Apr 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for Why Make Sense?". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Phares, Heather (2015). "Why Make Sense? - Hot Chip". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Corcoran, Nina (13 May 2015). "Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Barnes, Chad (15 May 2015). "Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?". Exclaim!. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Simpson, Dave (14 May 2015). "Hot Chip - Why Make Sense? review". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Hogwood, Ben (17 May 2015). "Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?". musicOMH. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Horton, Matthew (30 April 2015). "Hot Chip - 'Why Makes Sense?'". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (13 May 2015). "Hot Chip". NOW. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Dombal, Ryan (25 May 2015). "Hot Chip: Why Make Sense?". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Hot Chip –Why Make Sense". Q: 101. June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Hot Chip –Why Make Sense". Uncut (217): 76. June 2015. 
  18. ^ Reed, Ryan (19 May 2015). "Hot Chip: Why Make Sense? Review". Paste. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Weatherby, Taylor (10 Feb 2015). "Hot Chip announces new studio album Why Make Sense? and new single". Retrieved 12 Feb 2015. 
  20. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 21, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Top 10 Independent Artist Albums, Week Ending 21 May 2015". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  33. ^ "Official Dance Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  35. ^ "Hot Chip Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Hot Chip Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Hot Chip Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  38. ^ "Hot Chip Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Hot Chip Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2015.