Reviews Music Hot Chip — One Life Stand

Hot Chip — One Life Stand

Hot Chip - One Night Stand
Hot ChipOne Life Stand
EMI; 2010
10 Tracks; CD, LP, Digital Download

 

Review by: Whitney Pineault

Hot Chip's fourth studio album, One Life Stand, is one that marks a new direction for the London, England electro-pop outfit. After receiving a Grammy nomination for "Ready For The Floor" from 2008's critically acclaimed, Made In the Dark, the band have seemingly settled into a more domesticated maturity and crafted an album versatile enough for the club as well as a quiet night at home.

The album leads off with "Thieves In The Night", a slow-burning, synth-heavy dance track that is noticeably less chaotic than previous efforts. "Hand Me Down Your Love" follows with an infectiously catchy piano hook that is featured throughout until the song's chorus kicks in with the doting lyrics "I've known for a long time, you are my love life". The song also includes programmed strings, which add to its affectionate nature - a first for the band. Title track and single, "One Life Stand", is perhaps one of only two numbers on the album reminiscent of their previous work. A fun, quirky mix of synth and dance beats, the track features yet another interesting Hot Chip first - steel pan drums. An odd, yet fitting video for the single shows the band in all their geeky greatness performing and goofing off in a trippy striped room (I do not advise viewing if you have a major headache or are severely high on hard drugs).

Midway, the album seems to take a turn for the worst. "Brothers", a rather dull track with not much to offer (really guys, an Xbox reference?) and “Slush” are easy buzz-kills for what started out as a solid effort. A slight improvement is provided with “Alley Cats”; a simple, yet charming track with soothing vocals and harmonies, and one the band chose to preview for audiences live well before One Life Stand's release. The second throwback to Hot Chip of years past is offered with "We Have Love"; however, it just does work as well or measure up to The Warning classics “Over and Over” or "Boy From School." For the final ballad of the album, "Keep Quiet", the band ultimately seem to get it right. Incredibly romantic and thoughtful, it may not be the Hot Chip listeners are used to but one cannot deny the subtle beauty of this song. "Take It In", the album's closing track, has a feel-good dance vibe that carries One Life Stand out on a high note.

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Music: Take It in
Video: One Life Stand