With One Life Stand, the train that is Hot Chip keeps on chugging at a well-fueled pace. Packed with plenty of their signature bounces, in addition to more heartfelt subject matter across the board, One Life Stand is the group’s most thorough offering to date.
The ten tracks on One Life Stand (all over four minutes long) rise above the rollercoaster art-pop vibes of prior releases and explore more profound matters lyrically, and the arrangements reflect them. Whether it’s the plea for longevity on the title track or the arm-in-arm ode of “Brothers”, Hot Chip illustrates that they’re capable of mixing fun with wisdom and a cooler sense of electro-pop is the result. Nearly every song on the album touches on the subject of love, but instead of gushing, the band infuses poise, which makes for a distinctively complex pop record.
One Life Stand, their fourth studio album, features a more mature version of their past form in nearly all phases. Glitches are smoother, rhythms are more driven, and the songs are overall more organized. The opening “Thieves In The Night” begins with a theatrical organ intro before pulling the curtain back on a pumping bass as it slowly builds into a fire-setting dance track. Instead the band of hiding it in the mix, the group allows the gripping synth-violin riff on “I Feel Better” to boldly guide the song’s clever house beat and digitized vocal array. Compared to the more spontaneous The Warning or the more erratic Made In The Dark, this album gives the band a more academic appeal – as if they just earned their master’s degrees in electronic pop.
Throughout their career, Hot Chip has been one of the most personable acts in pop music. Despite being extraordinarily well-crafted, their albums feel as if they’re coming from some dudes in the listener’s basement, and that’s been their most distinct charm. One Life Stand simply takes that to the next level as the group features even more polished melodies, sleeker rhythms, and more riveting lyrics. Hot Chip’s only getting better with time.