Monday, November 23, 2009

Joe Goddard review for JC Report

Put A Record On: Joe Goddard Steps Away From Hot Chip
November 23rd, 2009 | London

With a new Hot Chip record around the corner, it's impressive that the band's main rhythm man, Joe Goddard, has found time to release a solo album. But in the wake of his bandmate Alexis Taylor's own recent solo effort, Rubbed Out, this additional output is a testament to the five-piece outfit's creative constituent parts. Goddard's Harvest Festival reaffirms this prolificacy, while giving space to his compositional dexterity.

The album isn't as lyrically strong as any of Hot Chip's releases—or Taylor's own for that matter—but, then, Goddard has always been stronger with musical arrangement. With the 12 tunes simply named after delicious fruit treats ("Tropical Punch," "Apple Bobbing," "Go Bananas") and sparse lyrics, the album is better appreciated as an instrumental effort. "Lemon & Lime (Home Time)" is one of the most vocal songs, but it's still restricted to the repeated sentence "Take me out, I want to see the morning," while "Pear Shaped" is best described as dub step and the rest of the album makes clear musical reference to UK garage and Aphex Twin.

As good as both Taylor and Goddard's respective solo albums are, they ultimately make a strong case for the existence of Hot Chip as a whole. The two are talented, but their differing skills are better served as complementary rather than in absence. Harvest Festival is a valiant output, but we're still just counting down the days to the next Hot Chip album.

Harvest Festival is out now. For more information, see

—David Hellqvist

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