Wednesday, June 25

Dex Jux Gets Funky With Chin Chin

Artist: Chin Chin

Album: Chin Chin

Comments: I really wish I knew more about soul music. I’ve worked hard to keep myself at least semi-versed in as many genres of pop music as possible, but as I sit here and try to review Chin Chin’s self titled record, I can’t help but feel that I am woefully unprepared.

See, with other genres of music, I’ve got benchmarks. I can think of an example in almost every genre of at least one band that I feel strongly about. But when it comes to soul, I’m pretty much in the dark. I’ve got some Marvin Gaye, some Al Green, and some Solomon Burke but none of their stuff has ever served as much more than background noise or snugglin’ music.

It’s possible that I just don’t care much for soul music. If that is the case, then it’s pretty clear that I won’t think much of Chin Chin. Because, despite their leaning into electronica, funk and even rock, this plays like a modern-day soul record.

The best way to describe this record is confident. The album opens with “Miami,” a rocking song heavy with funk horns and swagger. It’s a well named song; if I close my eyes while I listen, I can almost see palm trees at sunset while girls in white dresses and men in fedora hats dance in a club on South Beach. “Miami” is sharp, and one of the best cuts on the album despite a thin start that is exercised by the ending guitar attack.

The album shifts away from bombast but maintains the cool confidence on tracks like “Appetite” and “You Can’t Hold Her.” The tracks are modern, with some real sharp production (that I suspect might be courtesy of El-P, mastermind of the band’s label Def Jux). It’s seduction music, but it’s well made.

So goes the album. There are some slow songs (“Ohio”), some more rocking tracks (“Cotillon,” “Curtis”) and some lovemaking, sexy tunes that employ some falsetto singing that will either light your fire or have you scrambling for the “next” button.

Chin Chin is the kind of album you could throw on at a party and have a good time to, especially if there’s a lady or dude at the show you’re looking to make a move on. Outside of that, I’m not sure if this is a good album or not. I know that Chin Chin sound as confident as hell on this record, which leads me to want to listen to it more. I also know that it won’t get more than one or two more spins in the future. I guess if you like soul music you can dance to, this will tickle you.

You might dance to Chin Chin, but it isn’t the album that’ll turn you into a soul fan. At least, it wasn’t for me.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Key Tracks: Miami, Curtis, Ohio, Cotillon

Buy, Steal, or Skip: Steal

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