Lily Moayeri

music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth

Hot Chip: One Life Stand (Astralwerks)

Reviewed for Venus Zine:

Hot Chip One Life Stand (Astralwerks) 

Hot Chip
One Life Stand (Astralwerks)
By Lily Moayeri
Published: March 10th, 2010 | 7:00am

There is a chance that Hot Chip is alienating fans with every new record. That is not to say the London-based five-piece is getting worse. On the contrary, Hot Chip is evolving with each release. While the band has always maintained a geek chic balance between push-button dance floor tunes and hook-infested pop songs, the group’s fourth full-length, One Life Stand, drags them firmly towards the former.

While informed by synth-driven dance pop hits of the past, One Life Stand could easily have been an ‘80s contender. “Thieves in the Night” smacks of Yaz, “I Feel Better” offers an orchestral vocoder-ed take akin to an Erasure B-side, and the title track oscillates between early Depeche Mode and (weirdly) Suede at their most falsetto. In contrast “Brothers” has classic harmonizing that is entirely un-‘80s and “Slush” is pure country gospel — dare we say Elvis-ish? “Keep Quiet” turns inward, channeling Hot Chip’s ever-present studio nerd with IDM bleeps humanized by rumbling low vocals. “Take It In” flutters with an ultra-modern take on something that would fit perfectly in a John Hughes movie. One Life Stand is all about contradictions — but in the best way.

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