Alexis Taylor: A Block off the Old Chip (Playing GAMH on Sat. 6/9 with Annie Hart)

The history of Fleetwood Mac is such a maelstrom of addiction, bankruptcies, and bitter lovers’ spats that it’s hard to pin down exactly what led to their early-1980s hiatus and subsequent limbo. But it’s safe to say that after Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Stevie Nicks released solo albums in 1981, the overall band had an increasingly challenging time holding things together.

Although Hot Chip’s precision beats sound rather different from Fleetwood Mac’s brand of dad-rock, the acts share one trait in common. They’re multipolar projects whose respective members have embarked on solo careers only to return to the mothership, and for Hot Chip co-frontman Alexis Taylor, a piano-centric independent career is now four albums strong. While Beautiful Thing, released in April, is certainly not a Hot Chip record — based on its dramatis personae alone — it bends back toward the source. Taylor’s unmistakable, affect-less voice can give listeners the false impression that he’s an art-school scenester having a laugh, but Beautiful Thing is set up as a vehicle for his unabashed love of pop schmaltz. It’s very circa-1980 Paul McCartney, with the synths that open “Oh Baby” sounding like the ex-Beatle’s “Temporary Secretary” before diving right into Wings territory.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview!