The Chemical Brothers - Further

2010-07-07 09:05

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons (aka The Chemical Brothers) have been keeping the party going since 1991. They're not likely to turn mainstream pop culture on its head again with another "Setting Sun" or "Block Rockin' Beats" – they’ve had their day in the sun. And Further sounds like a band that’s come to terms with that. In fact, it sounds like a band celebrating the idea. Just look at the album cover. Refreshing, isn’t it?

First single "Escape Velocity" didn’t even chart. Second single "Swoon" could only manage Number 85 in the UK charts. But really, Further sounds like The Chemical Brothers have bypassed the idea of writing singles completely. And why not? They’re not exactly desperate for new fans or universal critical acclaim at this stage, just trying to enjoy what they’re still doing, I’d imagine.

Most of the eight tracks on Further (minus the two iTunes exclusives) are instrumental, and even when there is singing it's Rowland on vocal duty (not some high profile collaborator). Stephanie Dosen turns up for a beautiful guest appearance on opening track "Snow". But overall, Further is surprisingly low-key and uncomplicated, flowing like one euphoric stream of consciousness instead of a collection of disjointed radio hits.

And to complement the audio ecstasy, all eight tracks on the album have a corresponding video or visual aid (YouTube them) put together by long-time Chemical Brothers collaborators Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall.

I could have done without track five "Horse Power" (neigh!!!!) but other than that there’s an air of growing-old-with-dignity to the album. When you’re deep in the syrupy synth grooves of "K+D+B" and the ecstatic, Kidofdoom-like refrains of "Wonders of the Deep" (even the title sounds Kidofdoom-ish), you’ll know what I mean.

Rowlands and Simons could have approached stars like Kanye West, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. They could have cashed in and gone for broke. Instead, they've made the album they wanted to make. No singles. No gimmicks (except the horse neighing on "Horse Power"). Nothing groundbreaking. Just good, honest dance music for the hell of it.

I wasn't feeling it at first. I kept waiting for something really bombastic to kick in and slam-dunk my attention. Then, after a few listens, I realised the bright lights and fireworks weren’t coming. And slowly, I got into the spacious, chilled out electronic grooves of Further.

Preshen Govender 2010/07/07 4:24 PM
  • Rating:
great music to have sex to
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