In a musical landscape filled with tales of excess and self indulgence, it’s refreshing to see a group advocate actual human connection, whether it be in terms of love or comradery. Britain based electronic group Hot Chip have found success in this vein with “One Life Stand,” their fourth album. Their ever apparent technical skill, along with some of the group’s most heartfelt lyrics, make this album stand up with their best works.

Musically, Hot Chip are masters of what they do. They continue to utilize synthesizers and the occasional flurry of electric guitar to make arrangements that fall into one of two camps. On songs such as “Keep Quiet” and “Alley Cats,” they create slow ballads that carry a great amount of depth to them. The slower paces and more subdued beats create a more atmospheric effect, and it serves them well. However, the band is at their best when they create songs that are meant for the dance floor. “I Feel Better” and “We Have Love” are brilliantly layered and upbeat, and make for songs that have real staying power.

The title track is the best manifestation of what distinguishes Hot Chip. It is a brilliant single that starts with a drum and bass beat, and keeps building with steel drums and synthesizers. Lead Singer Alexis Taylor uses his unique tenor, which has a fragile quality to it that is at once seductive and soothing, to masterful effect, singing lyrics that act as a thesis statement for the album. “I only want to be your one life stand. Tell me, do you stand by your man,” sings Taylor. It is heartfelt and emotionally wrenching, a battle cry for those who love unconditionally.

The one thing that keeps this album from achieving classic status is the fact the several of the songs don’t hit the same highs as the best cuts. “Brothers” and “Slush” tend to drone on, the former having well intended but ultimately weak lyrics. Additionally, this album is a long one, and this may turn many people off who are looking for the instant satisfaction of the three minute pop single.

Despite this, “One Life Stand” is a great album by a group that knows that maturity does not mean uninteresting. Hot Chip have proven that commitment, connection and pop music are not mutually exclusive.

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