Review Summary: For a band that created hype with electro/pop, it is a sad demise.
Hot Chip has no doubt had a large impression on the electro/pop scene. If there was a particular song to exemplify this it would be, “Over and Over” from the 2006 album, The Warning
with its smooth but tantalizing sound, bringing a new way to how listeners would view the genre of electro/pop. Though this is a new decade, and the direction of electro music could lead anywhere, in just one year (2009) this genre got a major facelift, with the likes of La Roux, Passion Pit and countless others changing the way we perceive this style. So is Hot Chip at the fore pioneering the new sound of the decade like they did so before? If One Life Stand
is anything to go by than the answer would be no.
Thankfully, opening tracks, ‘Thieves In The Night’ and ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’ give us a promising start. ‘Thieves...’ is an upbeat disco number, that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, while ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’ is completely different, with soul like vocals that could make you think that Aretha Franklin is in control, giving a Mo-town feel. At this stage, you could be thinking, that maybe Hot Chip has done it again. Though unfortunately, things begin to go downhill. Fast.
Monotonous and lacking in consistency are words used for many albums, though listening to the middle section of ‘One Life Stand’ they would be the words that come to mind straight away and probably quite an apt description. Middle tracks, ‘Brothers’, ‘Slush’ and ‘Alley Cats’ are one big letdown, as they all build and build into one big anticlimactic slump. ‘Brothers’ sound is to try hard, while ‘Slush’ and ‘Alley Cats’ are an attempt at a Miike Snow sound, which fails terribly. (There is nothing wrong with Miike Snow, though it is hard to try and sound like Miike Snow when you are not Miike Snow).
Hot Chip’s saviour for One Life Stand
is amazingly the ending tracks, ‘We Have Love’ and ‘Take It In’. They rescue the album from utter disaster, and lighten up the drabness that the rest of the album added. Both tracks get your blood pumping and body moving, creating an electro/pop sound that we have come to expect from Hot Chip, as new things are tried and are pulled of perfectly, as different synth sounds are tried and scrambled bass patterns work well into the mix. These tracks literally soar high above the rest of the album, giving it some substance and actual listening value.
One Life Stand
is an album that really lacks consistency as the middle part of the album just really sounds uninspired and is nothing different to what has been heard or tried before, and just drags to a stand still. Though Hot Chip give us something in 4 songs at least, creating a new sound that they haven’t tried before and it works in their favour. So Hot Chip if you are listening, don’t try and be something you are not, continue on your merry path of being different, creative and interesting. Like you were in the past, thanks.