One Life Stand
Eight tracks deep into One Life Stand, Hot Chip delivers “We Have Love.” I doubt you’ll read anywhere that “We Have Love” is the standout moment on what is a decidedly solid album, but the song bears mention because it is the aural equivalent of Alvin & The Chipmunks’ brains… on the Prodigy. That’s the (as yet unmentioned) winning formula that makes Hot Chip, and One Life Stand in particular, palatable for such a widely diverse audience. Their electronic sensibilities appeal to danceheads, and yet the hyperkinesis is gentle enough to evoke the huggable nature of childhood ADHD. Slow-burner “Keep Quiet,” allegedly a response to the guys being moved by Susan Boyle’s dramatic turn on Britain’s Got Talent, brings to mind the moody atmospherics of Massive Attack and Sneaker Pimps.
Album opener “Thieves in the Night” is reminiscent of the Neverending Story theme song which frankly, to someone of our generation at least, is fully delightful. Piano tinklings on “Hand Me Down Your Love” have shades of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac, which again, is most likely an unintended reference point, but a great one nonetheless. When discussing lead single (and one of the more “Hot Chip-sounding” things on here) “One Life Stand,” singer Alexis Taylor said, “I’m talking about turning a one night stand into someone’s whole life.” At the risk of digging too deep into subtext, it’s worth reading that as a metaphor for Hot Chip’s music in general. A band/sound that could easily have been a flash in the synth-pop revival pan has actually proven itself worthy of revisit , over and over again.