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Reviewed by Ali Quaile. Few bands have been as consistent in the quality of their music as Hot Chip. From their debut album â€˜Coming on Strongâ€™ in 2004 they have been giving us their quirky electronic pop which the nation canâ€™t get enough of. Their latest album â€˜One Life Standâ€™ is no exception containing its fair share of blippy synthesizers, drum machines and Alex Taylorâ€™s dulcet falsetto. The epitome of geek chic, Hot Chip manages to combine an array of electronic instruments with heartfelt lyrics giving us their original sound.
Their latest effort, arguably less get up and go then their previous releases seems to be more of a relaxed and sentimental affair. Love seems to be a recurring theme throughout this album as can be seen simply from the titleâ€™s of some of the tracks: â€˜Hand me down your loveâ€™, â€˜We have loveâ€™ and the title track whereas â€˜Brothersâ€™ offers Joe Goddardâ€™s insight into brotherly love. The opening song â€˜Thieves in the Nightâ€™ sets up the standard for the rest of the album with atmospheric synths leading into a thrusting drum beat and soaring vocals. They still have the catchy dance tune similar to the likes of â€˜Ready for the Floorâ€™ on â€˜Made in the Dark and â€˜Over and Overâ€™ in â€˜The Warningâ€™ in the form of the title track where the combination of Taylorâ€™s euphonious singing and the floaty vocals of Joe Goddard with a stable backing and the addition of steel drums make for a track to remember. â€˜Take it Inâ€™ offers another more upbeat track with evil backing synths in the verse leading to a much more ethereal chorus.
However, there are a couple of down points in the album most notably tracks such as â€˜I Feel Betterâ€™ where the effects put on the vocals in the verse make it sound more akin to a popular house tune found in a commercial club and the track â€˜Slushâ€™ doesnâ€™t seem to have enough substance leaving you wondering where the song is going apart from a cheesy exclamation of love. Finally, arguably the best track on the album is â€˜Alley Catsâ€™ whose chilled out guitars and mellow vocals can be paralleled to the likes of â€˜And I was a boy from Schoolâ€™. Despite these minor setbacks â€˜One Life Standâ€™ is a very good album overall album and one that definitely warrants a listen. 4/5
Hot Chip play Edinburghâ€™s HMV Picture House on Saturday 13th February