Chromeo: Quarantine Casanova
Montreal electro-funk duo dance away COVID-19 woes on latest EP
Label: Juliet Records
Even while sheltered-in-place, Chromeo proves they can still throw a house party on Quarantine Casanova, their first release under their own Juliet Records label. Like other entries in the Montreal-based duo's catalogue, Quarantine Casanova unabashedly cops the style of early '80s synth-pop, electrofunk, and R&B — for instance, Patrick "Pee Thug" Gemayel's talk-boxed vocals owe a very obvious debt to Roger Troutman (Zapp & Roger). Also like those previous recordings, Quarantine Casanova is smattered with laugh-out-loud moments as the twosome fully leans into the production tropes of that era while providing genuinely funny lyrics. However, the subject matter is much more topical here, as a lovelorn David Macklovitch ("Dave One") tunefully voices his frustrations (romantic and otherwise) with the COVID-19 pandemic on all five tracks, which bear names such as "Clorox Wipe," "Six Feet Away," and "Stay in Bed (And Do Nothing)". This artistic decision gives the EP more of a novelty factor, but it's certainly fun while it lasts. If nothing else, it's refreshing to once again hear Dave One and Pee Thug's creative chemistry unadulterated — 2018's Head Over Heels was oversaturated with guest vocalists, overshadowing the co-stars' inherent charms. For one thing, Pee Thug's vocoderized ad libs were sorely missed. As we tuck Quarantine Casanova into our 2020 time capsule, here's hoping Chromeo continues to return to their roots on their next full-length.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars