Upon first listen, the only thing I could think of while listening to the new Chromatics album was how much it reminded me of the Drive soundtrack, for one of two reasons: Firstly, a song of their was used on Nicolas Winding Refn’s soundtrack, which I liked very much, and secondly, Johnny Jewel and another bandmate from Chromatics were originally enlisted to score the film. It ended up not being used, but they kept a song on the album and Cliff Martinez’s score seems awfully inspired by their sound — at least on some level.
This new album packs a punch, perhaps trying to prove that they deserved the score, or, alternatively, that they don’t need it at all. The first song, “Into the Black,” is actually a Neil Young cover, but it’s a great one. It took until “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” to make me realize it was a cover.
Chromatics do a great job of creating music that can both be ambient background noise, maybe for sleeping, writing or studying, as well as music that just kind of makes the world look cooler. Your driving seems better. You’re walking cooler. You are Ryan Gosling. Wait, what? Nevermind.
Anyway, check out the album if you can, it just came out last week. Below is both cover “Into the Black” and the more representative “Kill for Love.
Five Word Review of Chromatics’ “Kill for Love”: Fantastic if you Liked Drive.
“Into the Black”
“Kill for Love”