Actually, it’ll technically be YOU breaking your legs, “The Warning”‘s lyrics notwithstanding – but you can blame it on Hot Chip. Here’s why: first, find a Really Big Stereo – those crappy white earbuds just aren’t going to cut it for this one, pal. Crank the volume up… that’s right, way louder than your mom plays Tegan and Sara, louder even than your dad plays the Pet Shop Boys or “Total Eclipse of the Heart” after a few too many glasses of wine. Now press play on Hot Chip’s new album, One Life Stand, and try to stop yourself from jumping around until your shins splinter into dozens of jagged shards and explode out the front of your knees in a painful, bloody, and likely irreparable fashion.
Hot Chip is back, and they’re tired of being badmouthed about Made In The Dark. The critics said it tried too many new and disparate directions, ending up chaotic and segmented; the fans lamented their failure to deliver any serious attempts at the accessible and immediate dance floor draw of their biggest hits from The Warning. The good news? It sounds like they listened. One Life Stand is a rollicking and almost entirely successful synthesis of the disparate sounds that make Hot Chip so unique. Probably the best vocal performances by co-lead-singer Alexis Taylor you’ll ever hear (wait for his rebuff to the autotune in “I Feel Better,” or play “Slush” on a hungover Sunday morning for that part-religious, all-worship feeling), irresistible backbeats guaranteed to pack the floor (I’m gonna vote for “Hand Me Down Your Love” at the moment, though it changes every time I listen to the album), slippery yet unforgettable synth lines (you must have heard “Take It In” by now), and straight-out head-nodders (“Alley Cats,” Joe Goddard’s vocal high point); this album brings a lot, and will end up a fertile common ground for music lovers, dance floor junkies, remix artists and DJs alike. Aficionados of the techno and house scenes will recognize much of the work being done here, but packed together with the novel elements of Taylor’s soul-music-loving vocal lines, the band’s immaculate DJ chops, and their seemingly bottomless well of unique style, there is indeed something in this album for everybody, and it all flows together better than any of their albums to date. There’s an argument to be made about the range of songs on this album not being what you’d expect from Hot Chip; only the one ballad (“Slush”), not much of that crunchy guitar work we know and love (which makes me a little sad), and a more controlled pace and tempo to the album as a whole than their previous efforts … but my only real gripes are trivial: that the album ends too soon, and I have to wait until April 20th to see them live at Kool Haus. Hope you’re ready for the floor that night; I will be.[audio:Hot Chip – I Feel Better.mp3,Hot Chip – One Life Stand.mp3]