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Few bands have been as consistent in the quality of their music as Hot Chip. From their debut album 'Coming on Strong' in 2004 they have been giving us their quirky electronic pop which the nation can't get enough of. Their latest album 'One Life Stand' is no exception containing its fair share of blippy synthesizers, drum machines and Alex Taylor's dulcet falsetto. The epitome of geek chic, Hot Chip manages to combine an array of electronic instruments with heartfelt lyrics giving us their original sound.
Their latest effort, arguably less get up and go then their previous releases seems to be more of a relaxed and sentimental affair. Love seems to be a recurring theme throughout this album as can be seen simply from the title's of some of the tracks: 'Hand me down your love', 'We have love' and the title track whereas 'Brothers' offers Joe Goddard's insight into brotherly love. The opening song 'Thieves in the Night' sets up the standard for the rest of the album with atmospheric synths leading into a thrusting drum beat and soaring vocals. They still have the catchy dance tune similar to the likes of 'Ready for the Floor' on 'Made in the Dark and 'Over and Over' in 'The Warning' in the form of the title track where the combination of Taylor's euphonious singing and the floaty vocals of Joe Goddard with a stable backing and the addition of steel drums make for a track to remember. 'Take it In' offers another more upbeat track with evil backing synths in the verse leading to a much more ethereal chorus.
However, there are a couple of down points in the album most notably tracks such as 'I Feel Better' where the effects put on the vocals in the verse make it sound more akin to a popular house tune found in a commercial club and the track 'Slush' doesn't seem to have enough substance leaving you wondering where the song is going apart from a cheesy exclamation of love. Finally, arguably the best track on the album is 'Alley Cats' whose chilled out guitars and mellow vocals can be paralleled to the likes of 'And I was a boy from School'. Despite these minor setbacks 'One Life Stand' is a very good album overall and one that definitely warrants a listen.
Hot Chip have always produced music which is very differant comapred to most pop music nowadays and there fourth album "One Life Stand" is no differant. With there Electropop sounding music they have managed to produce another very good studio album.
With just ten songs on the album it seems a little short of tracks. However every song on the album is over 4 minutes long which makes up for this. The album itself feels very warm and gentle. Majority of the arent too heavy, but they arent too soft either. If you like something differant to normal pop music, the chances are you will love this album by Hot Chip.
My favourite song of the album is track seven titled Alley Cats. The leads singers voice is very good in this song, and with the electropop it makes a very good track. As it goes the song Alley Cats was the only song to be sung on your by Hot Chip!
"One Life Stand" is dance-pop band Hot Chip's fourth album, released in 2010.
While the chart is filled with pop stars churning out songs that sound exactly like ones that were released a few years ago, Hot Chip have always remained unique since their second album "The Warning" with their nerdy image and their left-of-centre pop slash disco songs. Singer Alexis Taylor has a rather unique voice also that some people may not enjoy listening to. While their previous two albums were slightly more catchy and pop-orientated, One Life Stand is a lot more in-depth lyrically and musically. An example of this is the first song, "Thieves In The Night", which is the second longest song on the album at six minutes and nine seconds. Starting of slowly but builds up into a joyous disco tune like the Hot Chip that we know and love. Although I'm normally no fan of dance or pop songs over six minutes long but this is a rewarding listen.
The second song, "Hand Me Down Your Love" is just a brilliant love song. Like the first track starts off a bit repetitively but during the chorus beautiful violins come in to the mix making this one of the sadder songs on the album. The next song is a contender for best song Hot Chip have ever made: "I Feel Better". Electric violins give this song an out-of-world feel while the chorus is just one of those that will be replaying in your head from dawn to dusk after you hear it. Special mention must go to the brilliant video as well, check it out if you get the chance.
"One Life Stand" is the title track and was the first single of the album, which I found strange as I think it is one of the weakest tracks on the album. The beats feel rather limp compared to the first three tracks and the synthesizers used in the chorus are an example of how Hot Chip's experimental edge can go wrong. However the fact that I an saying this is a weak track on the album just shows the albums overall excellence, "One Life Stand" is still a rather catchy pop song.
Luckily "One Life Stand" is followed by the brilliant "Brothers". A very touching and emotional song and anyone who has a brother will identify with the lyrics, in fact it might even bring a tear to your eye. This song is more pop and isn't much of a dance song, despite it's energetic beats. Next is a rather strange romantic ballad, "Slush", which features some annoying backing vocals that pretty much ruin the song, despite some excellent instrumentation.
Track seven is "Alley Cats", which has a much more laid-back feel than the rather heavy material of the last few songs, and is a lovely chill-out summertime type track as a result. "We Have Love" starts off horribly, with one of those annoying chipmunk voices, and turns into a boring run of the mill dance song with it's repetitiveness. A disappointing show of unoriginality with this song makes this the album's low point, although the next song "Keep Quiet" isn't Hot Chip at their creative highpoint either, it is a quite dull filler track.
The album ends with "Take It In" which isn't amazing but is a pleasant and catchy pop song which gets the job done I suppose. Overall, while it peters out a bit towards the end, "One Life Stand" is an album worthy of any dance or pop fan's collection.
Hot Chip are a british dance/pop/indie band who in a world full of X factor 'reality' singing stars make impressive alternative pop music. After releasing their debut album 'coming on strong' back in 2004, it wasn't until they released 'the Warning' their second album in 2006 that they started to get mainstream success. This was mostly down to the lead single 'Over and Over' becoming a relative hit. By the time 'ready for the floor'; a catchy top 5 single was released (and rumoured to be offered to Kylie Minogue), third album 'made in the dark' became another big seller.
'One life stand' is the latest offering and this is my quick, to the point review: -
The six minute epic of 'Thieves in the night' builds slowly but kicks in like it was created in the midst of 80s dance pop. Probably too long to be a single but one of their best songs to date.
This is followed by keyboard stomping 'hand me down my love', a simple but infectious pop song. The second single 'i feel better', is another catchy pop song which goes perfectly with the JLS rip off type video that accompanies it - no doubt available on youtube.
Stand out track is undoubtedly the albums title track 'one life stand' which is track 4 which features all of the elements that have made hot chip successful; pure catchy pop with brilliant dance hooks. The vocals are shared around and make for a brilliant pop single. The song is extended on the album from the radio style release and well worth getting.
The rest of the album almost feels like it doesnt quite meet those heights though 'alley cats' is another standout though more mellow than 'one life stand', which is probably more representative of the album as a whole.
ONES TO DOWNLOAD
Thieves in the night
One life stand
Hand me down my love
ONES TO AVOID
If you like dance pop thats a bit left field of the likes of Lady Gaga then this is probably your thing. If you are unsure maybe try download some of the ones recommended, or even look at downloading some of their earlier stuff. The most commerically successful tracks are
And I was a boy from school
Over and Over
Ready for the floor
Shake your fist
For those still interested in chart placing, this album reached number 11 which was a bit down on previous releases but that is more likely to do with the current trend of music rather than Hot Chip have lost their way. I dont think this album is their best but if you like their previous work then you should find this a decent purchase - only £6.49 on amazon, and most likely cheaper on play.com. The album is quite mellow and I think its biggest problem is that the early tracks are so good that the rest of the album just doesnt quite live up to expectation which is why I give it three stars.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Thieves In The Night
2 Hand Me Down Your Love
3 I Feel Better
4 One Life Stand
7 Alley Cats
8 We Have Love
9 Keep Quiet
10 Take It In