Music: Hot Chip * * * *
Hot Chip, One Life Stand (EMI)
Over the course of five years and three albums the Londoners have become one of the leading crossover electronica bands. Hot Chip have managed the tricky feat of enjoying mainstream success while also retaining their hipster credentials.
That juggling act is evident on One Life Stand -- an album that confounds expectations. On the one hand, there are a handful of smart electro-pop songs that sound very Hot Chip in execution -- the tracklist is bookended by Thieves in the Night, which channels the sound of early 80s UK bands including Visage and Take It In with its deranged electronic coda.
In between lie the songs that make you sit up and take notice. Alley Cats hits plenty of emotional buttons with its killer line "there's no pain I don't know", while Slush -- perhaps the most potent song penned by Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard to date -- sounds like Elbow meeting latter Portishead. It's stunning.
Incidentally, fans of Hot Chip could do worse than check out Grizzly Bear's stunning recent acoustic reinvention of their 2006 song Boy From School.
Burn it: Slush; Thieves in the Night