HOT CHIP’s latest could easily fill an ALLEY full of funky hepCATS

you painted a song, you painted a song

♫ Hot Chip – Alley Cats

After much hype, anticipation, and dancing to it’s two leaked tracks, Hot Chip’s 4th studio album is finally out. One could write pages on Hot Chip, their music, and it’s critical/popular reception, but to boil it down, One Life Stand is their most solid album yet. Coming On Strong introduced them with an “electro-soul” sound that seemed like a gimmick and was a bit too mellow for me. The Warning saw them up the ante with the instant dance classic “Over And Over” tucked into an otherwise pleasantly flat collection. Made In The Dark broke them to popular audience with a handful of great and quirky dance anthems but the album never felt cohesive. With One Life Stand they have toned back the dance tunes and honed in on the ballads to reach a balance that holds itself together perfectly. Hot Chip are clearly more confident then ever as they seem to be grasping at less straws and taking each musical decision to it’s logical extent. Their shortest track list yet sees all 10 tracks run over 4 minutes and none should be skipped. One Life Stand’s centerpiece is a 3 track block of tenderness that offers a well timed respite from the rollicking good times that bookend the album. “Alley Cats” closes out those 3 tracks and it’s dual vocals, delicate beat, and sparse instrumentation are a perfect example of Hot Chip at their finest. Many can do dance but few can also do this.

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