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Boomkat Product Review:
*SPECIAL EDITION INCLUDES DVD WITH 'BROTHERS' SHORT FILM AND THREE LIVE TRACKS: 'ONE PURE THOUGHT', 'ALLEY CATS' AND 'NO FIT STATE'* Poised for ridiculous levels of commercial success, Hot Chip arrive at their third album, having thus far enjoyed a surprisingly huge audience and a generous critical response. At various points One Life Stand sees a more determined approach to mainstream pop music, with early entries like 'Thieves In The Night' and the orchestrally embellished electro-soul of 'Hand Me Down Your Love' kicking off the album with a strong opening couplet. 'I Feel Better' takes an age to get where it's going, but after the lengthy synth-string build-up there's a suitably grand payoff, and by the last minute or so you realise you're essentially listening to a raved-up, calypso rendering of 'La Isla Bonita'. The slow jams prove more problematic however. The peculiar ballad 'Slush' perhaps anticipates your disapproval by having that title; it turns out to be a fairly accurate appraisal too. Another misstep is 'Keep Quiet' whose plastic sound designs and tawdry vocals typify everything that tends to go wrong when electronic producers have a go at doing a 'proper song'. Arguably a bit better is the closing track 'Take It In' which still has rubbish (and I really do mean rubbish) singing all over it, but the fact that by the end Hot Chip have relinquished their hipster posturing and gone all-out D:Ream on us probably warrants some level of credit: they truly take the dance-pop bull by its idiotic horns and in so doing sound like they're having the time of their lives, even if they are reaching M-People levels of banality with their chorus of "My heart has flown to you just like a dove." At least Heather Small could belt this stuff out in tune. While it's difficult to wholeheartedly endorse One Life Stand, Hot Chip remain an intriguing take on what a modern pop group can be, and there are certainly enough good ideas on show to outweigh the occasional plunge into sentimentality.