Hot Chip – One Life Stand

One Life Stand

One Life Stand washes ashore on a pretty bed of synths, and that pretty much sets the tone for the whole album. Opening song “Thieves In The Night” has the lyric, “happiness is what we all want”, and that sets the tone for the rest of the album as well. There aren’t any huge bangers like “Over And Over” or “Shake A Fist”. The muted house piano and sweet vocals of “Hand Me Down Your Love” bounce along on an understated but fun beat, until strings come along during the chorus. “I Feel Better” feels like a throwback to 1993 with synthesized strings and processed vocals. So does “We Have Love” with a synth organ break. The chorus to “I Feel Better” best sums up the mixture of melancholy and hope on One Life Stand: “Nothing is wasted, and life is worth living. Heaven is nowhere, just look to the stars. There is a daylight, it’s yours for embracing. Everything is nothing, and nothing is ours.” The album tugs at your heart. One Life Stand is maybe the most emotionally open male sung electronic album I’ve ever heard. The title track “One Life Stand” is a literal promise to stay with a mate for their rest of his life, “I only want to be your one life stand, tell me do you stand by your man.” And then “Brothers” is a song about a man loving the men in his life. The chorus is, “it’s a wild love that I have for my brothers”. And, that is meant in a completely heterosexual way. Musically, all these songs are built on beds of truly gorgeous synths and basslines, sung with sweet conviction. “Sweet conviction”. See, even I’m falling under the spell of the mood of this album. So, if you liked quiet ballads like “We’re Looking For A Lot Of Love” or “The Warning”, or the understated bounce of “No Fit State”, then you’ll like this album a lot. I think because of the uniformity of tone, this may be their strongest album so far. “Take It In”, with its emotionally moving ending vocal harmonies of “Oh, my heart has flown to you just like a dove. It can fly, it can fly. And oh, please take my heart and keep it close to you. Take it in, take it in”, will probably end up being one of my favorite songs of 2010.

Hand Me Down Your Love

Brothers

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