Hot Chip: One Life Stand (Astralwerks) 

Despite the insipid title, Hot Chip's latest is a playful, upbeat charmer.

The greeting-card sentimentality of the album's name—let's turn that one-night stand into a lifetime affair—feels lifted out of one of Michael Novotny's cloying monologues on Showtime's long-running, grade-D homo-soap Queer as Folk.

This fits, because, really, Hot Chip is a refined purveyor of gay-lifestyle anthems. (I have no idea if a single member of this band is gay or not, nor does it matter.) Not since the Pet Shop Boys' heyday has a dance/electro band more perfectly channeled the cologne-rich atmospheres of queer dance clubs and all-gay Caribbean cruises than Hot Chip. Drakkar Noir practically emanates from the speakers while playing One Life Stand. On "Brothers," singer Alexis Taylor waxes poetic about homosocial bonding, singing, "I can take it if I know I'll see my brothers; I'm justified when I'm dancing and my brother is dancing with me. ... It's a wild love I have for my brothers."

Frankly, the band is not particularly inspired or revolutionary. They're just really, really good at evoking a specific mood: out on the town, strobe lights, overpoured cocktails, tight T-shirts and hysterical disco posturing.

Even the best dance music is redundant and libertine, and all's the better. These songs, from "We Have Love" to the titular "One Life Stand," are all unapologetically repetitive but unrestrained in their joie de vivre. As shallow as they are, Hot Chip make you feel really good. How can that be bad?

More by Sean Bottai


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