I get the joke, but it’s just not funny anymore. Chromeo was never meant to be considered a “serious” musical act, skating that fine line between witty kitsch and cheese-filled retro grooves. They succeeded somewhat admirably at the former on their debut album She’s In Control; tracks like “You’re So Gangsta” and “Needy Girl” seemed just fresh and smart enough as to not be confused with the mid-‘80s breakdance tracks they were referencing. Their sophomore effort, Fancy Footwork, mines the same territory but suffers greatly from the law of diminishing returns. Make no mistake, “Tenderoni” and “Momma’s Boy” are sung with tongue firmly in cheek, but the melodies and production are so tired and weak that the elements that would make them humorous or clever are simply lost in a muddy sea of synthesizers and dated beats. A brief moment of clarity, “Waiting For You” is propped up by a brisk and upbeat mélange of handclaps and chord progressions, but even this is unfortunately reheated later in the album for “Call Me Up” (is that a retro-recycling statement in itself?). The title track is the only true success story: a killer sawline, finger snaps, and a deliciously relaxed and confident chorus separates it from what ultimately sounds like a batch of Grand Theft Auto soundtrack throwaways. It poignantly proves what Chromeo is capable of: mining past ‘80s electronic glory and turning out fun, tasty dance-pop with a wink.
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