Monday, February 22
Hot Chip: Too Cuddly?
Artist: Hot Chip
Album: One Life Stand
Short Review: Latest from rock-minded electro-dance troupe is less sexy, more mature.
Long Review: The problem with Djs, or really any artist who works in a totally isolated, non-collaborative way, is that the music comes without an editor. Sure, Djs might have their friends listen to mixes before they test them out on dance floors or make albums, but by and large, there is no one pushing against. Djs rarely have someone along side, who has been a part of the creative process, to say “Hey, man, this part sounds like shit.”
Hot Chip has never had this problem. The band has not made a bad album yet, benefiting from their status as a group of dudes making music that could conceivable be made by one dude. I mean, I can't prove anything, but I'm confident that having a room full of people working on one song will always lead to a better product than having one person work on the same song. Call me a Communist, whatever.
Regardless, One Life Stand continues this trend of excellence, providing the world with more top-notch electronica.
Hot Chip's latest finds them moving away from their pants-off-dance-off-iest fourth release, 2008's Made in The Dark. That was kind of sleazy record (or, at least, as sleazy a record as dudes who look like this could make). It was all bass lines and boom, the sort of thing that Brooklyn vegans might do coke to at a house party. One Life Stand, in contrast, tones down the sex appeal quite a bit, making for a more mature, if less funky collection of tunes.
In fact, the album almost suffers from a lack of sexiness. Most tracks run in the softer, more indie-electronica-pop orientation of their breakout single “The Warning.” Three tracks use this slowed down, more instrumented mind set. Two of these tracks, “Alley Cats,” and “Brothers” are sufficiently awesome. Only two tracks could even be called sexy: the album opener "Thieves in the Night" and the titular track. The other songs are above quality, mid level techno / electro pop that may or may not contain auto-tune.
The problem here is that things are a little too somber, a little too mellow, a little too mature. The Warning worked so well because it balanced ballads with bumpers, and Made in The Dark worked so well because it was electric sex, with the slow songs serving as breaks to regain stamina. One Life Stand is more of a cuddle fest, with some occasional heavy petting.
Still though, with all the shitty electronic music coming out these days (cough ALBUM LEAF cough), you can't do much better than Hot Chip for quality and consistency.
Key Tracks: One Life Stand, Brothers, Alley Cats
Buy, Steal, Skip: Steal