Album Review: Chemical Brothers – Further

The Chemical Brothers‘ Noughties albums were revolutionary. Fantastic singles and overall flowing brilliance from start to finish. They managed to adapt and update quickly once Nineties rave started to wane.

Out came ‘Galvanise’, a song that gave the fans hope that the boys could live in both decades. That hope was made concrete by the album that followed. Push the Button was pure class, adding elements of hip-hop and indie to their unique dance sound.

They followed that with We Are the Night, which became one of the soundtracks for 2007. ‘Saturate’ and ‘Do It Again’ blew everyone out of the water, being banging in such different ways.

So you could say that The Chemical Brothers are among the best of the Noughties, even though they made their name in the Nineties.

So what about this new decade? What about Further?

The Chemical Brothers’ first attempt to stamp their authority this time around is more than solid. The album is stripped down, only 8 songs long, no collaborations, no filler. They reckon they no longer need the cameos from Klaxons, Richard Ashcroft or Bloc Party’s Kele. They’ve proven themselves enough in the past two decades to try it on their own.

Opening track ‘Snow’ sets the scene beautifully. Although it always threatens to burst into life, it never does. It keeps it simmering without once including a solid beat. I wondered why until I heard track two. ‘Escape Velocity’ is nothing but solid beat. Flowing straight in from ‘Snow’, this 12 minute marathon is the engine room of the album. It provides the fuel for the next 6 tracks.

This album is very reminiscent of their Nineties sound. Gone are the hip-hop tracks like ‘Keep My Composure’ from Brotherhood and ‘Left Right’ from Push The Button. However, there is still a great deal of freshness and experimentation in the album, particularly as they are no longer leaning on collaborators for support.

Lead single ‘Swoon’ is a perfect example of this. The refrain is typical; “Just remember to fall in love, there’s nothing else, there’s nothing else”. There’s a song with similar lyrics in so many of their albums. But who cares, because it’s the music we are interested in. The bass-line for this song is incredible.

Track 5 ‘Horse Power’ is probably the best song on the album. It’s like ‘Swoon’ in some ways. But where ‘Swoon’ makes you want to take your girlfriend for a walk in the park, ‘Horse Power’ makes you want to punch a wall and tear your shirt apart.

Having said that, the album does not seem so refined as their previous two efforts. It does miss a bit of outsider input at times. The Chemical Brothers were better than most at finding the perfect artists to acompany their music. Maybe if they want to take this decade by the scruff of the neck as well, there should be more of the same, with a bit of collaboration.

77/100

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS – Horse Power by microfideu

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One Response to “Album Review: Chemical Brothers – Further”

  1. […] How I Got Over 31 Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man 32 The Chemical Brothers – Further [review] 33 Dirty Projectors & Bjork – Mount Wittenberg Orca 34 Foals – Total Life Forever […]

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