Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Poem
There's not much more to say - I think Electrohound summed it up pretty much perfectly. I've been a follower of Underworld since the Lemon Interrupt days, and I would agree that this is their best work. This opinion is of little use to fans of course, who will have Oblivion With Bells already, but if you're not, and perhaps you still associate Underworld solely with Born...
Published on 18 Oct. 2007 by R. J. Lister

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not the best Underworld album. Only for fans really.
Published 4 months ago by Mariusz


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Poem, 18 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
There's not much more to say - I think Electrohound summed it up pretty much perfectly. I've been a follower of Underworld since the Lemon Interrupt days, and I would agree that this is their best work. This opinion is of little use to fans of course, who will have Oblivion With Bells already, but if you're not, and perhaps you still associate Underworld solely with Born Slippy, then I urge you to give this record a try (on a really lovely Denon if at all possible).

It's a full, rich sound throughout, weaving layers into the dark minimalist style of The RiverRun Project. If A Hundred Days Off was a slightly disjointed, transitional record, then Underworld seem to have found their truest, most coherent, most melodic sound to date. It's no coincidence, I'm sure, that this latest record opens with its most bombastic moment - the tech-funk of single Crocodile - before gradually descending to a kind of multi-layered ethereal canvas - here is a band saying "goodbye" to crowd-pleasing big beats (although they will say "hello" again whenever they play live, I'm sure).

With Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, it could be argued that The Prodigy, similarly, found their true voice - only for it to be their downfall. No such fate for Underworld, I'm sure. They are true electronic innovators; and here is their most innovative, most rewarding work yet.

Oblivion never sounded so good. I, for one, can't wait to hear what lies beyond.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Underworlds Finest, 16 Oct. 2007
By 
Christopher Hunter "cjhunter2001uk" (Farnham UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Underworld have proved to be one of the most enduring and interesting electro-orientated outfits over the last 20 years or so. The soundtrack to 'Breaking and Entering' released earlier this year stands out as one of the most hypnotically beautiful soundtracks ever released, alongside the intriguing and embracing download releases from their own website.

Oblivion with Bells is a return to a more febrile musical state with a mix of upbeat danceable tracks, subliminal hypnotic grooves (but don't be fooled, the lyrics may be oblique but they hit the targets intended!) and straight forward ambient pieces of music which are fantastic.

I can't really add much more to the detailed track description given on the earlier review posted on this site but would like to reiterate that this is one of the best releases across any musical genre this year. Underworld are very intelligent, thought inducing, subtle and highly commercial. A truly rare mix.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning.... This is a classic...., 15 Aug. 2008
By 
BD "bigdave2020" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
I must confess that Underworld had slipped off my musical radar for a bit after the slight disappointment of Hundreds Days off, and had resigned myself to listening to the excellent live album 'Everything, Everything' as their last great release, but this album is one of the most significant and finest returns to form by any band.

Other reviewers have described the tracks in depth and made the relevant comparisons (and why not the tunes deserve it) so i won't repeat other peoples words, instead i will simply sum up this album by saying that it is one of the best albums i have bought in the past ten years, possibly Underworlds finest work, and at no point did I want to skip through any part of it. Last time that happened was with Radiohead's 'the bends' and that is one of my favourite albums of all time, and do you know what, i think this might just be another album for that list...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect electronic album, 16 Nov. 2007
By 
Carsten Doig (Hamilton, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
Electrohound has described this album perfectly but I need to add my five stars. This album grew on me slowly. At first I found it a bit awkward but the more I play it, the more the individual songs and their various styles merge into a majestic album. There are crowd pleasers, ambient musings and social commentary on this album. The soundscape is as lush as ever and to this Karl Hyde has added some of his most memorable lyrics, delivered in a myriad of styles. If anything, his stream of consciousness is more fluid and understandable than on previous efforts and the album's all the better for it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 4 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
Possibly the best Underworld album ever.

1. Crocodile. Love this opening track, six and a half minutes of goodness

2. Beautiful Burnout is awesome, but takes a while to get going. Great bass, robotic sounding vocals, an awesome song to set to a fast moving video

3. Holding The Moth. One of the only tracks I don't particularly like, a bit too monotonous, but the keyboard is nice

4. To Heal is simply one of the most sublime pieces of music I've ever heard, but at only 2 minutes 36 seconds it's far far too short

5. Ring Road, although I didn't like it when I first heard it has turned into my favourite track on the album. Almost Mike Skinner-esque rapping vocals. Amazing music but this one needs to be listened to very loud on a great stereo

6. Glam Bucket is another relxing, synthy affair, which builds up layer upon layer of synth to an amazing climax. Brilliant

7. Boy, Boy, Boy is good, but not a standout track for me. Another one which needs a good stereo

8. Cuddle Bunny vs the Celtic Villages - meh, too short, not a lot happens and it's just basically background noise. Least impressive track on the album

9. Faxed Invitation is another synthy affair, but again not a lot happens and it's a bit too monotonous for me

10. Good Morning Cockerel. Beautiful piano but thats about it

11. Best Mamgu ever finishes off the album in fine style, with a gorgeous laid back 8 minute piece of synth

all in all a brilliant album, best tracks being Beautiful Burnout, Ring Road and Best Mamgu Ever
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure sonic soma vibrations, 16 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
I've been listening to Oblivion with Bells over and over. A key session involved a start-to-finish odyssey with my Harman-Kardon sound system. I am happy to report that my esteem of the album has not sunk but skyrocketed. I actually think this is their best work yet, period. It's like pouring pure sonic light into your ears ... soma vibrations.

Yes, I know, you're thinking I'm a slavish, gushing fan. But if I was, I would be complaining that it's not as revelatory as Dubnobasswithmyheadman or as dance-centric as Second Toughest in the Infants. (I was a bit underwhelmed by Beaucoup Fish and A Hundred Days Off.) Instead, I think Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have revisited their early magic on those albums while simultaneously pushing the electronic music template forward into a tough, timeless future.

1. and 2.) Plenty of praise has been heaped on starters "Crocodile" and "Beautiful Burnout," thanks to American critics like Amazon's Don Dilibretto. These are the obvious touchstones for dance fans and those familiar with Underworld's oeuvre. So I'm not going to say too much more other than they are bloody professional and that "Beautiful Burnout" makes the album worth the price alone.

But the other compositions, less what we're used to, show Underworld working in a sort of parallel universe to Radiohead, who have cracked new codes in the modern "rock" song. Underworld are here instead bringing on the full power of their technical know-how to conjure post-everything "electronica." (Is it any mistake that the two bands now share some of the same representation through ATO?) Yet Underworld's sound is still firmly placed in the dance camp.

5.) "Ring Road" makes the point perfectly. John Bush of Allmusic.com dismissed it in his review, but that was foolishness. Played on a system with proper acoustics, the synapses open up to it like flower petals. Hyde springs to his Englishman raps, mixing paranoia with wonder, city with countryside. And the music surrounding it is simply astounding: Its flanged riffs skip around the ears in an infectious groove, a smeared whistle cuts the air, the bass building to a sound huge enough to carry a whole town fair. No doubt, in the hands of decent DJs, this will become a daytime anthem for the rave class. It's also ripe for a wicked club mix.

3. and 8.) More challenging material appears with "Holding the Moth" and "Cuddle Bunny vs. The Celtic Villages." The former takes more time to warm to. It carries a menace and loathing, Hyde speaking, "But I don't know you, I don't remember you...glass eye on you, electric eye on you." Then a counterpuntal "You walked away, you walked away" arrives in a lower, distorted register, adding a dirty groove reminiscent of Ralph Falcon's classic "Every Now and Then." "Cuddle Bunny vs. The Celtic Villages" takes on an industrial darkness, yet is still hauntingly beautiful. What sounds like metal furniture dragged slowly across the floor seems to only disturb subterranean waters below, glimmering in the cold.

4. and 7.) "To Heal" also belies the dividends received from Hyde and Smith's recent soundtrack work for Anthony Minghella and Danny Boyle. While "Cuddle Bunny vs. The Celtic Villages" unsettles in the depths, "To Heal" is the angelic afterlife. Its synth pads are so bright, fuzzy and clean, you could comb your hair with them or shave your stubble. It hearkens back to the opening chords of U2's breakthrough Joshua Tree even, but hangs in a moment of peaceful transformation.

U2's Larry Mullen Jr., a good friend of Underworld's, joins them for "Boy, Boy, Boy," moving the sonic palette into rockish territory. Mullen lends meaty, gritty drums as Hyde and Smith overlay swimming guitar and vocals, giving us country blues for the new century. Dissolving into spacious interchanges, synths wash into the rocks like a clear river, Mullen's drums dancing on the surface.

6. and 10.) "Glam Bucket" explores Underworld's taste for dissonant harmony, its pinpoint notes bouncing over grainy scratching swaths of sound. This is perhaps the most melancholy moment on the record, but it's brightened by intersecting elements that combine and crash in splendor like shimmering sparks. The brief "Good Morning Cockerel" is more morose, but its piano lines gently build into quiet joy, Hyde singing calmly "Hallelujah, black barbed wire kisses memories..." Unlike past shorts "Blueski" and "Ess Gee," "Cockerel" is heavy with consequence.

9. and 11.) "Faxed Invitation" and "Best Mamgu Ever" are perhaps Underworld's two finest compositions of all time. They require more than a superficial visit. "Faxed invitation to oblivion with bells," Hyde whispers in deep tones, its gossamer synth chords building and gliding and dropping down, then up again, until we're dancing toward the horizon, the sun rising to a new day. Believe it, this is one of the most gorgeous tunes ever committed through the microchip, unlocking the power of the machine to the wisdom of the human heart. You think I'm joking, but wait 'til you're there, on a playa or field with your brothers and sisters, dancing, hearing the devotional organs and the "Rez"-like pinball notes ricocheting in your eardrums, creating a heavenly kingdom here on earth.

So now we come to the sick closer, "Best Mamgu Ever," "mamgu" meaning grandmother in Welsh. A sly echo of their classic "River of Bass," it achieves a perfect dynamic between smooth, soft bass notes and hard, punching weaves around the beat. Hyde's voice hovers over the sweet, weightless bass line, cut up and skittering through the air, freeing real joy as you lean through the folding waves of boogie.

So wink goodbye to the '90s rave heyday and say hello to a bright new world: bigger, harder, smoother, better. Underworld are helping build it. Just follow your feet to the door of the beat.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful oblivion, 7 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
Underworld return with their first studio album proper for 5 years, and boy was it worth the wait.

If A Hundred Days Off was a slight disappointment - sounding as if it was trying to re-live the good old glory days - Underworld certainly make up for it with Oblivion With Bells. Underworld have gone back to the drawing board, progressed their sound and have come up with their most innovative, melodic sound to date.

Highlights of the album are 'Crocodile' (a funky guitar hook over synths and Karl Hyde's distinct vocal), 'Holding The Moth (a dark, brooding track that turns into a piano tinged fest at the end), 'Boy Boy Boy' (excellent vocals overtop rock tinged guitars and drums) and 'Best Mamgu Ever' (a floating piano riff layered with broken vocals and sweeping synths, giving it a trance-like feel). 'Ring Road' is love or hate, but give it a try - the vocals are spot on and there is a drum pattern to die for.

However the absolute standout of the album is 'Beautiful Burnout' - robotic vocals brood over a broken drum beat, building up with accoustic guitars and a synth led 2 note riff until the track breaks down and is replaced by signature Underworld stabbing drums. Just excellent, and possibly the best Underworld production ever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Another Intelligent Epic Work, 25 Jan. 2008
By 
Christopher Hunter "cjhunter2001uk" (Farnham UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
One of the most consistently interesting of all the 1990's dance acts to have endured this long. They have steadily moved on to become genre defying with their, internet only, river-run project a couple of years back and the beautiful soundtrack to `Breaking and Entering' last year.

The new album is a return to what they do best, a flow of consciousness musical barrage filled with snap shot pictures of the UK and the huge landscapes or modern urban scenes and the people who live in them. Listen to the `blue collar' rap of `Ring Road' or the lush landscape of `Best Mamgu Ever' and you'll hear Underworld doing what they do best....plugging into everyone's subconscious hopes and fears and putting them into music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do they keep doing it?, 20 Oct. 2007
By 
James the King (...under the stairs) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
Icreasingly, there are fewer and fewer "contemporary" artists putting out decent new material. The list of musicicans I can still count on seems to get smaller every year, with one after another putting out disappointing records, enforcing my (perhaps cynical) belief that good music, like all forms culture in the 21st Century, is on the way out.

That said, I approached this album with cautionary optimism. My approach to Underworld's last LP (2002's "A Hundred Days Off") was much the same and I was less surprised than blown away by how good the album was, especially given the absence of Darren Emerson. Proving that it was no fluke, Underworld are back and "Oblivion with Bells" is a worthy addition to their cannon.

One of the things that makes the record so satisfying is that Underworld aren't afraid to stick to their own sound. Sure, there's a progression running throughout their albums, but there's also no mistaking that this is Underworld. Sonically, this is possibly their finest set yet. The songs here rely more on the sonic layering than on the writing, but isn't that what electronic music is all about?

There's a slight dip in the middle of the album. Notably on "Ring Road" and "Boy, Boy, Boy", which prove that Hyde's vocals do not necessarily work on their own, and the overlong and (dare I say) overproduced "Glam Bucket". These tracks can't help but feel just a little like fillers. All very good tracks in their own right, but a little weak on what is an otherwise utterly superb album.

If you're a long standing fan of Underworld, rest assured that "Oblivion" is every bit as good as it should be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Underworld/outofthisworld, 14 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Oblivion With Bells (Audio CD)
This new album from Underworld has got to be there best ever that I've ever listened to. It has got it all good solid base vibes, nice electro vocals, deep grooves & uplifting melodies. A great contribution from Underworld towards there already highly popular CD album collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Oblivion With Bells
Oblivion With Bells by Underworld (Audio CD - 2007)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews