After Hot Chips released “Made in the Dark” two years ago (4 February 2008) and toured the album, they did not take anytime to rest. They went directly into the studio, started writing, and are back in the game with “One Life Stand” (1 February 2010 digitally, 8 February 2010 in the UK, 9 February 2010 in the USA). Hailing from one of the Caribbean Commonwealth nations, I have always witnessed first hand how British culture has influenced (and even forced itself on) other cultures and music. But one of the things that really caught my ear on this album is a sound that I never thought I would hear in “popular” music (other than odd 80s stuff). The sound, the instrument, I am referring to is the steel drum, which give a very vibrant sound, and when played correctly you can also get a deep full sound. Needless to say, I was attracted to the album instantly.
“One Life Stand” is the lead single of the album, and it is quite an interesting song. He is pleading to someone, wanting to know what she is thinking, what does she want, and wants to be her one and only. Quite the sappy song, but it does get the message though. The musical arrangement is just brilliant: the piano "solo" in between lyric, was something I found fun and entertaining. “I Feel Better” is hands down my favorite song. Even though the autotune bugged me a bit at first, it actually makes the song fun. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It makes you want to have that “here comes the beat…DROP THE BEAT HOT CHIP!” And though you then would expect it to be something huge, something the complete opposite of what was just heard, but they throw you a curve ball. What they give you is better than what you expected: they add flavor to the beginning part, a beautiful rhythm arrangement that does not scream “club,” to accompany the luscious string arrangements. This song brought back a feeling that I haven’t felt since I was a young boy, and it was those steel drums I was talking about earlier. Just to know that something like that made it on a song like this, and it just sounds perfectly meshed together.
Now being friends with a certain blogger has really exposed me to music before my own time – specifically synthpop from the 80s. This album really reminded of the brilliant songwriters of the early and mid 80s: Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Chris Lowe, etc… There is a quality to the music that is not reminiscent of the 80s, but rather a continuation. It is the same sort of ingenuity and arrangements. I am not going to belabor this – Hot Chip grows on this album, they demonstrate a broader range than before, and they point towards the future of synthpop.
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
11. Brothers, short film – Deluxe Edition
12. One Pure Thought, live in Brixton 2008 – Deluxe Edition
13. Ally Cats, live in Brixton 2008 – Deluxe Edition
14. No Fit State, live in Brixton 2008 – Deluxe Edition
Keep up with Hot Chip at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
Here is the link for “One Life Stand” from the emimusic YouTube Channel.