Hot Chip – One Life Stand (EMI) 01/02/2010
February 2, 2010 by Joe Morrison
When I told people I was going to review dance-pop act Hot Chip’s fourth long player ‘One Life Stand’, I was somewhat taken aback to see nonchalant shrugging and hear no more than a ‘so what’, or ‘oh’.
I was surprised as the London five piece had created some of the biggest indie disco floor fillers with the likes of breakthrough ‘Over and Over’ and ‘Ready for the Floor’ both stand out tracks from 2004 debut Coming On Strong and 2008’s Made In The Dark respectively.
On listening to their comeback album you begin to understand the insipid response. A band once applauded for being so relevant and on the pulse can all to often frustrate and disappoint the listener. For every one great track there are two real failures.
Hot Chip occasionally give us an ‘Over..’ or ‘Ready…’, like thumping title track ‘One Night Stand’, a perfectly understated yet stand out single and one to remember from this album, alongside ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’, with it’s snare drum heartbeat and hooky piano fitting majestically into a dance floor smash.
These two aside, you’re left feeling like it’s Hot Chip on auto pilot. Occasionally you can’t complain, like the manic rave funk of ‘Take It In’, and the neat, subtle drive of ‘Alley Cats’.
On the whole the album is tired and lazy, with some real shockers – ‘I Feel Better’ is like a limp imitation of Kanye West & Mr Hudson (complete with Vocoder) suitable only for a Chav rave up. ‘Slush’ is just plain annoying (repeating ‘humana humana humana’… really?).
‘Brothers’ drags on with most of the album, as does the equally uninteresting ‘Keep Quiet’, like they were knocked out in a Sunday afternoon jam session.
Once again Hot Chip have produced some of the tunes of the year, and you’ll all be dancing to at least one in the indie disco in the near future. But as an album, One Life Stand is just Hot Chip by numbers. It’s ok. But who cares?