Sunday, January 31, 2010

HOT CHIP/One Life Stand CD review

I have a theory about Hot Chip. I truly do believe that they have become critical darlings and shifted many unites over the last few years because they are actually a GREAT band and not just a 'flavor of the month'.

There are so many bands out there that music critics babble on and on about, but seldom do they have any lasting power.  And often times, certain groups of music snobs will latch on to bands because they feel that they are 'supposed to' (ie: you are only considered 'hip' if you are a fan of Groups A, B, C and D).  But, like fashion, people's musical tastes move on with the times and last week's hip band is now bound for the budget bin!

Hot Chip, on the other hand, have only gone from strength to strength... and everyone continues to go along for the ride.  Seldom are bands loved by the critics AND the public, and it's a real rarity when each album takes the band to the next level and the fickle critics and fans are still digging 'em!  To be honest, I can't think of another band in this position in recent times.

With One Life Stand, Hot Chip have created an album that is so good, it's hard to take it all in during one sitting.  There are moments here that are so glorious that I just HAD to listen to again even before the album was over!   So, needless to say, it took me about four hours to listen to this album in it's entirety, but by the time it was over, I knew it back and forth and was in love with it.  And I do mean 'love'.  Like 'I want to marry this album' kind of love.

Formed by Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, Hot Chip are now a five piece which expands their musical influences and adds depth to their sound.  While One Life Stand is not as danceable as their previous releases, it is still an Electronic Pop album through and through.  Hot Chip haven't altered their style: they've refined it and created an album that is joyful and melancholic. They've reigned themselves in just a tad bit, but manage to stand apart from their contemporaries by creating eclectic Pop songs that are fueled by Electronics, wonderful harmonies and instantly lovable melodies.

Recalling (but not sounding like) bands such as The Korgis, 10cc Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and OMD, Hot Chip are everything you could possibly hope for in a modern Pop band these days.  They do things their way, create music on their own terms and avoid all the commercial cliches... yet they have managed to build up a loyal following and are poised to achieve even greater success with this album.

Standouts on the album include "hand Me Down Your Love", 'I Feel Better" (my personal fave at this moment), "Slush", 'Brothers" and the title track.  With melodies and performances like these, how can you NOT resist them?

For those looking for the more eccentric side of the band, the second half of the album shakes things up a bit although the melodies are still there in spades.

All in all, this is the most immediate album that the band have released thus far, but there's a lot of depth here, so if it doesn't hit you right away, don't fret.  By the third listen, you'll be hooked!

Hot Chip - One Life Stand (MySpace Exclusive)

Hot Chip | MySpace Music Videos

You're Welcome!
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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