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Review: Hot Chip – One Life Stand (Album)

Name: Hot Chip

Release: One Life Stand (Album)
Release Date: 01/02/10
Label: EMI
Website: www.hotchip.co.uk

Hot Chip released their readily awaited fourth album yesterday, ‘One Life Stand’. Let me tell you – it is 10 tracks of brilliance. Driving beats, electronica throw backs, diversity and experimentation. I don’t want to compare it to their last album, because the nature of this group is that they are constantly evolving and growing, and this will bring different results and sounds.

The album starts with ‘Thieves In The Night’ – infused with 80s sounds, with the inclusion of electronic samples and melodic vocals flowing over sporadic electro claps and darting, scurrying patterns of sound. The track also contains a middle 8 of electric guitar which is a really nice addition to the song, bringing in light rock elements. The second track, ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’ starts with hard beats, which is mirrored in the brazen piano and sample sequence. The repetitive lyrics over this gives a real hypnotic quality to the song, making it hard not to keep listening. Keeping it fresh on the ears, the third track, ‘I Feel Better’ is a plethora of orchestral strings, daft-punk synth vocals and more of a dance feel. The details are relatively sparse and bare until half way through, when the track goes deeper with beats.

Track four, which is the album’s title track is charged, intense and anthemic. They’ve put such a lot of variety into each song – without it being messy. There’s kettle drum licks and intergalactic shooting sounds, with light melodies weaving through the prickly sample sounds.

This is exactly why the album is so revolutionary and definitely something you could never get bored of. Next up is ‘Brothers’ which takes the pace down, with a mellowed ballad – with electronica still existing in the depths of the song. Track six is called ‘Slush’ – and by God did I have fun listening to this one. It starts off with a chorus of “humana humana humana humana” which I can only describe as Neil Sedaka singing in the shower – and it’s great! This track is slow paced like its predecessor. There’s a see of arpeggios and gentle heartfelt singing – with the humanas continuing throughout. There’s also some kettle drums and brass at the end. Track seven, ‘Alley Cats’ takes the pace up a notch with a breezy lighthearted sound. I love the octave vocal harmonies, as they add detailing whilst keeping it crisp and clear. There is a bareness at first, but layers of sound increase, with a frosting of twinkling riffs and light drums, claps and sequential additions of sound over the melody – it’s a beautifully sunny song. Track eight, ‘We Have Love’ goes back to electro/dance grounds with more of a club feel to it, and dare I say it, an ever so slight sprinkling of dub. The next track, ‘Keep Quiet’ goes gentle again. A real atmosphere is created with pin prick beats shooting within the gentle vocals. There isn’t a great deal of depth at the start, but great intensity is still created. Bigger beats drive through as the verse is sung on this airy and flutteringly airy song. The last track, ‘Take It In’, is a lot deeper, with lower tones and beats from the offset. This track is a lot more sinister sounding, but the chorus brings a lighter and happy feel.

This album is a sheer representation of the many sides to Hot Chip’s face. I think it’s great. I think it’s different to their last album, but then people complain when things sound the same – so I am glad they are giving something different. Love it.

Reviewer: Jen Jaconelli

Click Here To Buy Now – Hot Chip – One Life Stand (amazon.co.uk)

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