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3.7 out of 5 stars40
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2000
You'll either love this album or you'll hate it. The only reason people hate it is because it is less commercial than his previous effort. Don't expect the hyper-style dance featured in "You've Come a long way, baby". Instead expect something darker and more gospel influenced. This album is amazing. From the soulful beginning to the heavenly end, this is pure perfection. The best songs are the Macy Gray collaborations ("Demons", "Love life") the chemical-brothers esque "Ya Mama" and the horribly catchy "Weapon of Choice". This hasn't left my CD player since I got it. Undoubtably the album of the year
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on 1 November 2002
I really, truely can't understand how this album is so under-rated. Sure, it has a different feel to his previous two, but that is not reason alone to condemn it. It really is a fine collection of work from somebody who is an excellent song-writer as much as he is a DJ.
Sandwiched between the sun-drenched, Ibiza inspired Talking Bout My Baby and Song for Shelter, there are moments of greatness. These include the haunting Moby-esque Demons, the funk of Weapon of Choice (forget the hype the video received, just listen to the song) and dream-like Bird Of Prey.
Sure, there are a couple of low-points, but even somebodyas talented as Norman Cook can't keep it going for the full 65-minutes. But overall I was highly impressed by this difficult second album. As the Amazon reviewer says, if this Norman growing old, wait till he hits 60....
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on 14 May 2001
Dissapointing to some perhaps, but I'm from the 'give this a chance and it'll grow on you' school of thought. I was none to impressed on the first spin but Norman's beats are so infectious that you can't help warming to it in the end.
'Sunset [Bird of Prey]', 'Weapon of Choice', 'Drop the Hate' and the epic 'Song for Shelter' are my favourites. My only real gripe with this album is collaborating with Macy Gray, she has a unique, intriguing voice - but on this album it's more far more grating than actually bringing something special to Cooks' tracks. It might not be as groundbreaking as 'You've come a long way, baby' but he's still way ahead of the pack with this release.
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on 8 November 2000
What is wrong with this guy? Can't he produce a rubbish song?! This is one of the most addictive collections of music ever.
The songs are much harder and sharper, but not so bassy as You've Come A Long Way Baby. With the deep, soulful feeling as well, this album is another must-have for your collection.
Personally, I don't think it's as easy to get into as his previous album, and it's more of an aquired taste. However, the variety of styles and moods are bound to be a crowd-pleaser and the album has something for everyone. An absolute get-now.
Another thing, only halfway? Fatboy's more like 95% of the way to the stars. His next this rate it's going to be something VERY special...
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on 31 October 2000
Halfway Between the Gutter And The Stars is certainly very different in comparison to You've Come a long way baby, but at the same time its not. This album is more melodic, and more soothing, and really captures ones emotions let it be danceing or resting. Another masterpiece has slapped us accross the face, it may different from Norman's old sounds, but it certainly is just as good. From the ravish booming bass of Star 69, to the catchy booty bounceing Weapon of choice, and The soothing Talking bout my Baby Fatboyslim nows how to work it. Hes back and better then ever.
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on 14 December 2000
This is, as the other reviews show, an album that's received mixed reactions. I have to say it really didn't strike me as fantastic when I first heard it. I borrowed a friend's copy and instantly liked Ya Mama more than the rest of the tracks on the album. I made no plans to buy it then and there, I wasn't that impressed.
But, one night whilst bored and in need of a soundtrack I put the CD on and I suddenly got it. This is quite different to the other albums, but is in essence a slightly mellower version of "You've Come a Long Way, Baby". Contrary to what others have said, he really does do this very well. It's a chilled, loved up affair ("drop the hate, forgive each other!") which at the same time still has some of that Big Beat kick that shows up Norman's roots.
I really like this album, even though it's is not as good as "You've Come a Long Way Baby". I think it's nice to see that he's matured, he is in his late 30s after all. Besides if he did an album that sounded exactly like his last one people would complain that all his music sounds the same.
Overall a more than worthy addition to my CD collection. Nice one Norm!
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on 3 September 2002
The other review here at thought that this album wasn't as good as the other albums by Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook). I completely disagree. This album isn't as good as the second album "You've Come A Long Way, Baby". But then again, that album was a masterpiece from start to finish, so I wasn't really expecting Norm to top it easily. That said, this is a fantastic album. It's worth buying for the tracks released as singles alone. True, a couple of the tracks don't work too well, but the majority are fantastic, and any Fatboy Slim fan should find them great to listen to.
Norman Cook said that in this album he wanted to do music which he wanted to do, rather than all the usual stuff which everyone else wants him to do, and I commend him highly for that. For that reason however, this album will unlikely be as popular in the mainstream as YCALWB was. But for any true Fatboy Slim fan, the album will be a triumph. Get this album if you enjoyed Norman Cook's previous offerings, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, just remember the lyric from track 2 on the album, Star 69: "They know what is what, but they don't know what is what, they just strut - what the f..."
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on 11 November 2000
Sorry guys but your going hate me, I think this is his worst offering to date, don't get me wrong I have been a Fat Boy fan since day one and still am, but this new album is poor. Maybey he's trying too hard to sound more mature, or maybey he's been playing 'Moby's Play for far too long while he's been away. Apart from traks like 'Ya Mama' and 'Bird of prey' the album fails to make any impact, the Macy Gray tracks are just too dire beyond beleif. Mr Cook was the dance acts dance act setting standards for all to follow, now he gone down old paths already laid down by the 'Chemial Brothers', 'leftfield' and 'Moby', incidently he even borrowed a drum loop from the 'Chemicals Brothers' block rockin beat which is not even credit as a sample on his track 'Ya Mama'. That said, I still will continue to follow his work, as his previous material is outstanding, and just lets hope this is a slight hick up, FatBoy please do me a favour..... gain a few pounds.
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on 9 November 2000
So okay. Norman Cook has grown up and become a father and all, but why did Fatboy Slim have to become so adult too ?
Personally, I much preferred his past three albums of which the most recent may be his most commercial (which isn't always bad), but hey, it WAS definitely one hell of a ride.
This new album may have quite a groove to it, but it certainly does not posses the continuity of tracks that seemed to peak again and again in energising highs and melodious lows. Cook said he didn't want to produce another Big Beat album. Fine. He's tired of same old same old. But why then produce such a mediocre (its not all bad) record.
Don't get me wrong here. Fatboy is still "Phat" as they say, but I had higher hopes for this record. Shame.
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on 6 March 2001
This is definitely an album that improves with time, the more listens the better it gets. After initial dissapointment I now feel this a far superior album to 'You've Come...'
Give it time and you'll come round to its funky beats!
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