Nothing you read will make any difference to how you react to the latest Bump release. You'll either love Bump XVII, and go out and buy it along with roughly 80 000 other fans, or you'll cringe and cower, blocking your ears.
But Bump doesn't really warrant either reaction. Like every edition of the series, this double CD set has its ups and downs. But bear in mind, it's not designed to be listened to like you'd listen to Bach (and yes, that's a valid comparison to house music, believe it or not) or even in the way you'd listen to Paul Van Dyk, or indeed, to the original versions of the dance oriented songs featured - the heartbreaking Clubhouse butchering of Coldplay's strong hit, "Speed of Sound" springs to mind.
Occasionally it gets a little interesting. The vaguely adventurous rousing rhythms of Tribal Man's "Morning Light" manage to combat the dim lyrics. Kash vs Inxs's "Dream on Black Girl" is urgent enough to thrill. In fact, there's more bearable stuff towards the ends of both discs.
But basically, this a double-CD, jam packed with 37 recognisable melodic tracks, is relentlessly cheesy, harmlessly silly, and rhythmically predictable enough to move to when trashed. It's inconsequential fluff designed to create a "vibe" and inject a bit of energy into the air... And it would be harmless, if it weren't quite so likely that we'd all be forced to hear it in clubs and bars, at beach parties and at lowest common denominator New Year's bashes, all through summer 2005/6.
Yes, Bump XVII is certain to be extremely popular - it's what commercial radio stations have taught people IS dance music. Which doesn't mean it actually is worth dancing to. Remember: once upon a time, everyone KNEW that the earth was flat.
- Jean Barker
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