I started listening to Hot Chip shortly after The Warning came out, in 2006, and I fell in love with the band's knack for writing catchy, melodic, and danceable tunes. The album had a brilliant balance of hard and fast dance tracks and slower, smoother ballads and pop songs. When Made in the Dark came out in early 2008, I was disappointed with the direction the band had taken, eschewing their melodic inklings for a more dance-oriented album, filling in the gaps with some meager attempts at '70s R&B and soul. Alas, the dance tunes lacked the punch of brilliant songs like "Over and Over," and I sort of put Hot Chip on the proverbial shelf, somewhat forgetting about them, until of course I read about the impending release of One Life Stand.
Like clockwork, Hot Chip are set to release another album in their two year cycle, and One Life Stand can certainly serve as fitting company to the excellent The Warning. It seems that this time around, Hot Chip have again learned how to love melody, and have worked it in throughout the record, creating captivating hooks and little ear worms that you'll have stuck in your head for weeks, if not months. The chillout bridge and triumphant harmonized chorus of the title track soars well above and beyond Made in the Dark, and it's at this point that it becomes obvious that Hot Chip have done it again. The songs are more tightly composed and the styles more varied on this effort, and I for one am very pleased with the restraint shown by the band on this go. I am once again in the thrall of Hot Chip, and looking forward to their next album in February of 2012. Other album highlight include the brilliant closer, "Take It In" and the beautiful fraternal-love-touting "Brothers." Another great record for 2010. Damn, this is a good year.