Two weeks back, my cohort in the Chicago Workgroup, Scotty Brandon, and I had the esteemed pleasure of opening up for Hot Chip, who were in town doing a DJ set at Chicago's Smart Bar after their sold out performance with The xx. It was a spectacular night. We debuted a new visual mixing accompaniment, done by our new friend Hey Cliche!, and people were well amped for the festivities. It was one of the best nights I've had in ages.
Thanks to all the flattering girls—especially the ones from Michigan who bought us absinthe shots—for making us feel like such rock stars. I hope we get to dance on a dance floor near you sometime soon!
In honor of the memorable occasion, Dialogue Inc would like to share our review of the latest Hot Chip album, which we review for Time Out Chicago on 04.15.10.
ONE LIFE STAND
El•ec•tro \ i-lek-troh \ adj + In•die \in-dê\adj + Soul \ sõl \n
To indulge Hot Chip’s fascination with ancient Greco-Roman history: If lead singer Alexis Taylor is the Greek playwright Sophocles and studio whiz Joe Goddard the Roman strategist Ulysses (as they often refer to themselves), then in One Life Stand the two formidable minds find their perfect balance of poetry and calculation.
A front-loaded record, One Life Stand barrels out of the gates with four songs that each cry out to be singles. The title track kicks harder than David Guetta on his best day and does him one better by morphing from house banger to soul stomper as it picks up steam. The electro-funk workout of “Hand Me Down Your Love” and the soaring, string-laden techno of “I Feel Better” demonstrate the Brit fivesome’s mastery of its sound. Mellowing across the second half, gems such as “Slush,” with its church-choir harmonies, and “Alley Cats,” with its minimal Balearic chug, keep the album from going stale.
Playful electro-pop has always been at the heart of Hot Chip’s appeal; past hits like 2008’s melodic thumper “Ready for the Floor” hinted that the band is capable of boiling down its penchant for dance beats and intelligent songwriting into a potent brew. But whereas past albums have yielded only a smattering of high-proof jams, with this latest LP the quintet serves up a full 12-pack of bionic soul. We’re ready to imbibe with the same reckless abandon as the Greeks with their wine.