One Life Stand - Hot Chip
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. The best treat in any kind of music following is when a band who’s been dabbling in greatness for a while finally comes to the plate and smashes a home run over the fences.
  2. The real shift is in their attitude, which allows them to embrace earnestness and write some straightforward love songs. It’s a strategy that could have backfired, but instead it has inspired their strongest and most consistent album so far.
  3. Hot Chip’s newfound sonic focus pays off, and with each record the band feels more like the five-piece that it now is instead of just the initial songwriting nucleus of Goddard and lead vocalist Alexis Taylor. For all that, however, where One Life Stand really shines is in its unabashed, open heart.
  4. One Life Stand is their most consistent and most complete record.
  5. Marvellously, an uninspiring mid-section aside, this is still music to dance to. More than dance in fact; you can exult to this.
  6. The frenzied interludes which sneak-attacked numerous songs on Made in the Dark have been banished, making way for a smooth, sleek, and splendid pop record.
  7. Though this emotional nakedness is an unusual move after Made in the Dark pushed Hot Chip to a new level of attention and acclaim, it also shows they’re in it for the long haul.
  8. By narrowing their range and increasing their focus, and by wearing their hearts on their sleeves and not smirks on their faces, they may just have released their first, confidently Hot Chip record. And that turns out to be something rather wonderful.
  9. Two years since the last album, five members with wildly varying tastes and talents, enough ammo to blast out two solo albums on the side, and they still can’t quite make 10 essential tracks in a row.
  10. They’re not badly written songs, but as the band contentedly set sail towards genteel Robert Wyatt-esque pop-soul balladry, fans might be left back on the shore wondering what happened to the idiosyncratic Hot Chip they fell in love with.
  11. All but doing away with the wry humor of the group's earlier work, Hot Chip's lyrics on One Life Stand focus on affection and romance in a way that says, “We’ve settled down.” However, the stylistic decisions betray the fact that they are still searching for their center.
  12. This is an imbalanced record, and one that leaves you frustrated rather than elated. But despite the blips, they have dished up at least two cerebral bangers here.
  13. Richly uplifting arrangements, dynamic percussion and an attention to vocals (some shared) that's intimately communal mostly make up for some excessive sentimentality and steel drums. But what's missing on the album is an obvious classic.
  14. One Life Stand is a worthwhile album peppered with lackluster songs, and not vice-versa. With Hot Chip, you tolerate inconsistency for occasional moments of bliss.
  15. One Life Stand hasn’t brought Hot Chip completely out of the deep hole they dug for themselves one album earlier, and it’s still not as consistent as the inimitable, career-defining The Warning, but it’s unquestionably more “Boy From School” than the histrionics of “Shake a Fist,” and that’s a good enough reason to stay with this band not just for the kids.
  16. Their ventures paid off supremely, as One Life Stand is an enjoyable and captivating listen on every level.
  17. 80
    It isn't a coincidence that this, Hot Chip's most focused album, is also their finest--more ruthless editing in future will doubtless yield even more spectacular results.
  18. 80
    A band/sound that could easily have been a flash in the synth-pop revival pan has actually proven itself worthy of revisit , over and over again.
  19. On top of being instrumentally impressive, One Life Stand is Hot Chip’s most emotional release.
  20. One Life Stand feels English in the best possible sense: it's cosmopolitan, unassuming and ever-so-slightly eccentric.
  21. Something magical may well have rubbed off [while working with with Robert Wyatt], as One Life Stand not only sees them back on track, it's also their best work, paring down those past excesses and unifying them into an extraordinarily lovely whole.
  22. Electro-pop wizards deliver cracking third album.
  23. Hot Chip's excellent fourth record shows how compatible those sentiments can be.
  24. 60
    One Life Stand finds the boys settling down and growing a tad soft in the middle.
  25. We have to unpack One Life Stand a bit to understand how its ambition operates. There are, to begin with, some tracks so fine that there is little more to say, except “listen,” including the opening “Thieves in the Night.”
  26. There is a new energy and focus acting as the perfect foil to Hot Chip’s lyrics, which have always been remarkably clever, particularly in the emotionally stunted realm of dance music.
  27. Fuller than usual of slow songs and piano ballads, One Life Stand is their mellowest, most thoughtful effort so far — which means it carries the risk of also being their most boring. (Contrast is one of their secret weapons, though it didn't seem like such a big deal until now.) But keep listening: slow to reveal, its charm is just as slow to fade.
  28. While One Life Stand’s mindset is Hot Chip’s most overtly serious, the album is also its most musically accomplished.
  29. So yes, different to "Made In The Dark" but a more cohesive and more heartfelt effort too. One Life Stand sees Hot Chip let us into their hearts as well as their thoughts.
  30. The yawn-inducing LP starts innocently enough with the charming synthpop number, "Thieves in The Night." [Winter 2010, p.68]
  31. One Life Stand is the classic pop album they've always threatened to make. [Mar 2010, p.96]
  32. 60
    Hot Chip's impressive musical facility remains, it's merely a little out of focus. [Apr 2010, p.102]
  33. So it is wuth British quintet Hot Chip, whose progression toward traditional songcraft has reached a satisfying plateau. [Mar 2010, p.94]
  34. The thing One Life Stand has going for it though is its thematic cohesion. This is an album about demanding commitment (from your bros, partially, but mostly from your lovers) or at the very least hoping for it.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Jan 16, 2012
    8
    Excellent record. These guys don't get half the recognition they deserve. The more you listen the more you get back from this album. HighlyExcellent record. These guys don't get half the recognition they deserve. The more you listen the more you get back from this album. Highly recommended. Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    9
    This is the most surprising, cohesive, and dare I say best of all the Hot Chip records. If you are expecting previous Hot Chip wackiness youThis is the most surprising, cohesive, and dare I say best of all the Hot Chip records. If you are expecting previous Hot Chip wackiness you will be in for a surprise. Have an open mind and this record will reward you. Full Review »
  3. BrandonD.
    Feb 21, 2010
    9
    Possibly my favorite HC record to date. It may not have the club thumpin' hits of their earlier records, but it's their most consistent.