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Music Review: Hot Chip – One Life Stand

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British electronic dance pop sensations Hot Chip feel like one of those bands that have been around for what seems like forever. Oddly enough, Hot Chip also feels like one of those bands that just seems to get better with age.

I wish I could say the same thing about myself.

Anyhow, Hot Chip puts on a somewhat sublime show for their fourth album One Life Stand. While the quintet usually rocks it hard and fast, their most recent effort has them rocking it out more casually and gentle.

Hot Chip (photo via Sneak Attack MediaBabies might still be made with One Life Stand playing in the background, but this time the sexual encounter would involve less groping, more caressing, and a whole lotta' lovemaking.

Yes, it's hard for me to imagine Hot Chip not inciting the kind of free love my parents probably engaged in during that era everyone in my generation wishes they experimented — err, lived — in. I think the band was thinking the same thing, which might explain the dance track "We Have Love" sandwiched between the smoother and more R&B-flavored "Alley Cats" and the more abstract "Keep Quiet."

Another way to think about the album may be in terms of aggressiveness versus passiveness. Is the band igniting sexual urges or is it simply fanning the flames of love? At one end, the opening up-tempo number "Thieves In The Night" maintains a steady danceable beat. But at the other end, the following "Hand Me Down Your Love" reveals a greater sense of urgency to the potential conquest, as if someone is leaving on a jetplane and never looking back again.

Can you feel it? The tension of making the right choice from a hard decision is filling the air, as well as the void of an empty heart. I'm kidding. It shouldn't be that difficult. Even Hot Chip sums up the decision in song with either a short or long-term answer: "I Feel Better" or "One Life Stand." I'll leave the right path up to the listener.

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About Tan The Man

A proud dork and loser, Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music, and has previously covered the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest and WonderCon.