Monday, March 08, 2010

Album Review: Hot Chip - One Life Stand (4/5)

British electro-pop band Hot Chip's fourth album embraces a softer sound, in comparison to their previous three releases, it's a light mix of alternative rock and electronic overtones, so even if 'dull' is a somewhat appropriate word to describe the album--it's the first album I've liked wholeheartedly, probably even more personally fulfilling than 2008's critically acclaimed Made in the Dark, maybe I just find the softer and more serious sound more appealing.

Opening the album is "Theives in the Night" a brewing starter, with pondering synths and cool electronic undertones; introducing a more serious feel to the band's sound, however not everything is soft and serious as next track, "Hand Me Down Your Love" is warm and slightly more upbeat arranged with drums, synths and keyboards.

Whilst there's really nothing truly bad about this album, it's highlights definately easy to spot. The best track on the album, "I Feel Better" flutters with an angelic falcetto, backed with a cooling dramtic orchestration backing. I like this one a lot, it's an awesome track. Title track "One Life Stand," isn't bad either--as it grunts with '80s influenced synths and a '70s styled disco sound. Next track "Brothers" is also cool as it also falshes with synth strings and emotional flourises, but is ultimately longer than it needs to be, so does the soft guitar ballad "Slush."

The last few tracks are fairly solid too, the heavenly "Alley Cats" succums to a series of rippling guitars, whilst "We Have Love" soaks itself into a retro groove. I'm not particurly fond of the last two tracks yet though, "Keep Quiet," is probably a bit too soft for me and although the synth-pop arrangement and melody on "Take it In" is cool, I still find it uninteresting.

It's not perfect, however Hot Chip delivered a solid fourth album, probably doesn't cover as many bases as Made in the Dark does, but does take more risks as the album evokes a more emotive feel through its more sonic surface--it shows that the band is in it for the long run and it's also the first time I've really given them a proper chance and I'm loving them.

Best: I Feel Beter, One Life Stand, Theives in the Night, Hand Me Down Your Love, Alley Cats, We Have Love

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