The Hot Chip frontman trips up on beatless second solo record
Alexis Taylor is enjoying a productive break from Hot Chip, making another record with jazz improvisers About Group last year and now chipping in with his second solo album. He’s wiped away all traces of the day job here: ‘Await Barbarians’ is largely beatless and almost completely devoid of immediacy. It’s not without charm – the needle-jump static of ‘Dolly And Porter’ gently drives a sweet melody; stroboscopic flickers of synth make a gripping arrangement for ‘Closer To The Elderly’ – but too often it’s just Taylor’s fragile voice cooing drab, introspective mantras over sparse electric piano. He’s played everything himself but the unguarded ‘Am I Not A Soldier?’ finds him explicitly missing Chip colleague and “brother” Joe Goddard. Get it together, chaps.