One Life Stand: Hot Chip, clearly, know their audience. The clever play on words of their 4th album title is also a great summary of the content – sleazy enough to have an underlying sexuality pulsing through the early electro dance floor fillers, yet pushing on to become something deeper, something experimental and quirky, and more meaningful than the infectious electro of the opening tracks can quite grasp.
Hot Chip’s last effort Made In The Dark was sporadically thrilling, but lacked the whole album coherence to make it a true classic. In One Life Stand they take the step up, with a rhythm that seems to flow from track to track, forcing its way into the album as a whole and drawing you on from one song to the next. The building blocks all weave together, blending subtle, ecstatic harmonies of high pitched vocals (see -Brothers’, the perfect soundtrack to watching clouds drift by on a hot summers day) with electro beats that twist and flit from throw-your-arms-in-the-air euphoric to the slower-paced, slow-dance blend of off-the-wall efforts like -Slush’ a track that sounds like The Beach Boys have got hold of 21st century instrumentation and gone wild writing a love song about a romance that unexpectedly stretched past the summer.
-We Have The Love’ hits the other extreme, with a house-style, voice-synthesized intro and the kind of rhythm that would fit right in after the sixth or seventh sambuca. There’s even the lightest hint of Euro-dance. Title track and single -One Life Stand’ has a mischievous undertone to it despite the sentiment, and opener -Thieves In The Night’ is a slow builder, swelling into a catchy dance-pop hit.
This is an eccentric, slightly experimental effort – always a gamble – but it’s turned out well; the album Hot Chip have long been threatening to make. It’s got the danceable parts, the slow almost romantic later tracks, and the infectious rhythm that calls for ample repeat plays. Gone is the shambolic edge – this is an effort the borders on overproduced at times – but in its place is an album that’s varied, emotional and demands your attention.