REVIEW: Chairlift – “Something”

[Jan. 24, 2012 – Sony/Columbia // Find it at: Insound | iTunes]


After three years of being commercial kings and queens, Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly, the duo that make up Chairlift, now find themselves with an addiction to synth. Unlike others with the problem who stumble trying to find that perfect sound to wash over you, the Brooklyn duo have created a special LP with Something. They still try to capture the essence of 80s’ chart-toppers, but there’s no clear vision of being popular. The first single, “Amanaemonesia”, is a psychological concept piece that’s too clever for five minutes to be an actual single. In fact, most of the album seems as if Polacheck and Wimberly fell into a deep depression and came out on other end with an intent to re-design the soundtrack for American Psycho and anything remotely similar in a kind, ominous way.

Some waves, where chilling vocals (“Sidewalk Safari”) and atypical percussion (“Wrong Opinion”, “Turning”) are the central point, curate too many flashbacks to another decade to stay relevant but when Something’s obscure creative jump crashes, it stings. The romance in “I Belong In Your Arms” and “Guilty As Charged” are indie pop adrenaline rushes and “Ghost Tonight” is a jazz session with Feist-like “oohs” and “woahs” that are voluptuously sharp. What’s better is Polachek has given Chairlift bravado. The new twist is sonically expansive with moments that smother instead of engage, but the vocalist has found this new ingenuity to let her words shimmer with more emphasis, placing real emotions behind textural arrangements that try to dress up as pop through melancholic dilemmas and technical wordplay, and the aftermath is a rabid craving.

Download: “Guilty As Charged”, “I Belong In Your Arms”

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  • DB Lareau says:

    There is “something” amazing about her voice. This a a great band and a great album. You should check them out live with tour dates during March. Here’s a great video to satisfy you till then. Chairlift performing Sidewalk Safari

  • kevincorcoranjr says:

    I found out about this band on their black cab session (side note: if you haven’t heard of, or watched a black cab session… you are really in for a treat when you finally check them out.) Anyway, I’ve enjoyed just about every artist that has ever played on their videos, but something about Chairlift got me more excited then the others. I picked up the album almost immediately after watching it, and the past few days have been entirely fueled by “Something”. I definitely recommend this to friends, family, loved ones, and pets… spread the love for this great musical piece.

  • AJ says:

    Great album. I had the pleasure of seeing this group live the other month and they put on a great performance. Its my hope that they will be playing all the major music festivals this summer so I can hear this whole album live in its entirety!!!

    And I agree. She sounds great on their Black Can Session episode.

  • Adecmr says:

    Great great record! I’ve always loved Chairlift and with this new record, they’ve proven they’re more than just the “band from the iTunes commercial”.

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