The Prodigy are back, and with Keith Flint, Liam Howlett and Maxim all back in ranks, this has to be one of the most exciting comebacks - especially after the disappointment of "Baby's Got a Temper", which I quite enjoyed personally, it seems other fans didn't really take to it.
Invaders Must Die has the grittiness and power of The Fat of The Land, the excitement of rave from Experience and the more grungy sound that was introduced in Always Outnumbered. Tracks like Thunder bring back the more darker side of the band, and reminds us of Out of Space - it's raw energy will transfer well on the stage when they gig later this year. Take Me To The Hospital also sounds typical of stuff you'd find on Experience, with the added vocals that you'd find on Music For The Gilted Generation.
Other excellent tracks include the hit "Invaders Must Die", it's prominent synth line reminding us why they are considered top of the electronica tree, and Omen, with it's simple "Out Of Space" sound, breaks, and single finger xylophone lead, really brings me back to 1992, in a good way too.
It's also nice to see Dave Grohl on this, doing live drums for the boys.
This is a top album, I was really glad to get it today and discover the sound that I loved about The Prodigy was back. I enjoyed Always Outnumbered, so I wasn't worried if they had kept to that formula, but the fact they have re-grouped and done a mixture of old and new style really does wonders.
This limited edition box set is great too, 5 7" singles - all coloured and has the whole album on, a CD/DVD (hybrid) which has the album on it, and the DVD side has the video of Omen, and Invaders Must Die. There is also a bonus CD with 4 tracks. It also has two films on there, World's On Fire, and Warriors Dance. Not only that, you get a stencil, Prodigy stickers and a poster.
For me this was worth every penny, excellent.
on 27 March 2009
`Invaders Must Die' opens with a thudding bass line and a melodious guitar riff, which build gradually up until after 16 bars or so, they merge to provide a combined assault on your ears akin to the opening of a Pendulum record. The bass is cranked to 9 Billion, the tune is simple enough to dance to and the song as a whole is catchy as hell. Following the title track is lead single `Omen' - so good that when I first heard it, I swore that I was listening to a track from `Fat of the Land'. "The Writing's On The Wall" was about the only lyric I could gather, but it didn't matter because as with `Fire starter' or `Smack My B Up', one lyric is all you really need to be able to get fully into it.
The opening two tracks are an indication of what to expect on `Invaders Must Die'. `Warrior's Dance' provides contrast for about 30 seconds when it opens with a euphoric female vocal. Very quickly though, the listener is brought back with a bang, and back come the thick and heavy Drum n Bass beats. Where The Prodigy have always excelled, is in selling their distinct sound by varying the tracks just enough to so you don't get déjà vu every time there is a song change, but not so much as to slow the pace of the record. On `Invaders Must Die', this is brought in with great effect. For forty minutes or so, the music infects your ears and causes your body to move, never slowing or treading over old ground.
The chances are that you already know if you are going to like this CD. There's nothing groundbreaking, audacious or controversial on this new release - it is just a good solid piece of work. As exciting as they ever were and ready to get the party going, The Prodigy are back. Nice to see that the boys still have still got it.
on 23 February 2009
Firstly i must say i was a little apprehensive about the new album. After the release of Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned i thought the prodigy were taking their music in a completely different direction. Don't get me wrong i still think that was an excellent album, production was great, everything hit the right spots, but especially when hearing the tracks live, it didn't really work with the rest of their material.
Now to the new release, Invaders Must Die!
The first thing you notice when listening to this album is the quality of the production, Liam has proven once again that he is the master when it comes to hard hitting beats, insane synths and massive breakdowns. Everything sounds clean and polished, and you can tell a lot of time has been spent making everything work.
No doubt you've heard the opening track a hundred times already on the radio, but it was nice to hear a few changes to the version you might have already heard. This tracks kind of a nod to the last album, and maybe Liam's trying to show us how it should have been done last time.
The second track Omen is our first glimpse back into the oldschool, hard hitting beats, and a piercing synth that takes you right back. I do have one gripe with this track tho, the version they played on radio 1 for the first time a few weeks ago had a slightly different break in it, which i prefer to the one on the album. It does work with the rest of the album though, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Thunder is a nod to electro/house but still keeps to the roots of the prodigy's sound, oldschool stabs and a ragga vocal reminiscent of Out Of Space. I expect to hear this one out in the clubs a fair bit.
Next up, Colours, which is more or less a sped up dubstep track, with some decent lyrics from Keith. I like the keyboard work in this track, which sounds very much like something off Experience.
Take Me To The Hospital takes it back to the breakbeat, and sounds like something you would have heard at a rave in the early nineties, but again brings it back up to date with some slicing beats and some quality production.
Next Up, Warriors Dance, which is my favorite track off the album. This track is truly for the prodigy fans who have been their from the start of the prodigy's career. I expect this will be an amazing track live. The breakdown three quarters into the track will have all the cheesy quavers putting their hands in the air.
Run With The Wolves brings us back up to date, with a drum loop that wouldn't have sounded out of place on The Fat Of The Land. It sounds dirty (which is a good thing), and Keith's vocals are quite reminiscent of Firestarter. I love the synth near the end which sounds like it's been lifted straight off a Commodore 64.
Omen (Reprise) truly takes you back to the hysteria years. At a festival this would make the perfect opener to Omen. This wouldn't sound out of place on an Commodore Amiga game. It's a decent filler.
Worlds On Fire is where the album firmly sets it's place as an oldschool/newschool mix. The stabbing synths and jumpy keyboards make sure this will get the entire crowd jumping at a live gig. The keyboards especially sound like something off Experience.
Piranha is the most 'band' sounding track off the album. Haunting synths straight from Scooby Doo, mixed with some oldschool stabs. The vocals work well to bring the whole track together too.
The last track, Stand Up, Is a nod to the narcotic suite from Jilted Generation. Some people may not like it's slow pace, but if you loved tracks like 3 Kilos off Jilted, then you'll take this one to heart too. An upbeat end to a brilliant album.
Overall this album works really well as a whole. I can honestly say i like every track off this album. It defiantly brings the Prodigy sound up to date, but will please fans of the early nineties material too. I never lost my faith in the prodigy like many people did, but this albums proves they can still do it like they used to. The Prodigy are defiantly back!
on 8 July 2009
I can rarely be bothered to take time to write a review but The Prodigy most definitely deserve my gratitude and respect for this album.
Those of you that grew up with The Prodigy's 'Experience' album and still rate it amongst the favourites in your CD collection as I do will love 'Invaders Must Die'. I can't believe how good it is - not many albums contain so much top-quality material.
'Invaders Must Die' is a clear acknowledgement of the fact that the 'Experience' album of 1992 is the only one that contains true anthems that you might still hear in a mainstream club. The later albums, whilst still certainly good in their own right, were notably moodier and less memorable. This one takes you right back to those early days of uplifting tunes.
Whilst the second CD of 'The Singles' set contained some lively, updated remixes of a couple of those early anthems and were very enjoyable, this album is completely new. Quite possibly as good as the 'Experience' album, if not better, it's a modern take on what it was we loved about the early stuff, although there are fewer lyrics. Something also worth noting was that I didn't spot a single amazing sub-bassline to 'wow' your friends with as it booms out of the back of your Nova GTE (or whatever it is that the cool kids are driving these days). That's the only single and very minor disappointment for me but maybe it was sensible - these tracks should sound just as good on the radio as they do on CD, in your bedroom, in the lounge, in your car and in a club .... so this should increase their popularity and airtime, boosting sales. Nearly twenty years on, there's a whole new generation of bedroom ravers so Liam and the boys may well have just doubled their market with this effort. Right from the start, tracks such 'Invaders Must Die', 'Omen' and 'Thunder' are instant classics.
on 1 April 2009
Whenever The Prodigy release a new album, I'm always intrigued to see what direction Liam's taken it in. I'll confess, for me, there's always the hope that he'll not overdo the distortion and that his hip-hopish/ravey/breakbeaty roots will come through as well. His first album Experience doesn't really touch on rock influences or use distorted sounds, but it -does- show him to be a creative and pleasantly twisted musician with a skill for making energetic, up-tempo numbers. For me, even on the later albums, which in a lot of ways have a very different sound, it's this creativity and energy that keeps my interest. The whole "Keith Flint is dangerous" thing, while not even vaguely convincing, sort of works, but it's really all about the music. So I'm pleased to report that this album is just what The Prodigy are good at - energetic and musically very competent. Yes, there's distortion but it is used effectively and Liam's wisely dipped into some cheesier synth sounds, breakbeats and vocals, which adds a certain freshness and a little relief for the bleeding ears.
My first listen to the CD was at a moderate volume, more as a background track. I didn't come away that excited by what I was hearing and to be honest was a little baffled - the sound is quite different to the last album and I didn't quite know what to make of it. The final track (Stand Up) in particular was a complete mystery (although Liam was obviously stepping into new territory, which I figured is generally a good idea). Later I gave the album my full attention and a good dose of volume, and it was at that point that it clicked. It's an album that might make you drive rather faster than you ought to. It's the album that you might play a little louder than anyone who respects their ears ever should. It's energy packed and interesting. Prodigy doing what they do best then.
If there was anything to criticise about this album, it might possibly be the sub-Aqua standard lyrics. On the other hand, The Prodigy's strength has never been in it's sing-along lyrics or their ability to communicate deep life truths. Perhaps the lyrics simply ought to be taken as a little tongue in cheek or simply a bit of fun? And why not? A more legitimate winge might be that the cardboard packaging is really no way to look after a CD and DVD, but heck - it's not hard to take a back up and use those instead. (It might even be legal one day!)
So, after a couple of weeks of listening, I've concluded that this is a winner. And quite a big winner too. It may not be quite the knock-out punch that Experience was, but it's an excellent piece of work, and if you've enjoyed previous albums, then it's really too much of a risk not to buy this one - you'll almost certainly love it. Liam and the boys ought to give themselves a big pat on the back. And then get cracking on another one please...
on 26 March 2009
Our favourite invaders of the music industry are back and at full throttle. It's been almost five years since their last album (if you don't count the Their Law singles collection) and around a dozen since Keith and Maxims' vocals ripped over Liams gargantuan breakbeats. But has it been worth the wait.
As if anything by the Prodigy wouldn't be worth the wait (I'll pretend to forget about Baby's Got a Temper). Okay, it's not perhaps as good as Experience, Jilted Generation or Fat of the Land, but they are three of the greatest dance music albums ever, each one a perfect repesentation of what was great about dance music in their era. Invaders Must Die may never have the historic importance to techno/rave/electronica/etc that the Prodigy's first three albums have but it is the best 'dance' album in many years and is clearly better than Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned.
Omen and Invaders Must Die show us once more Liam's mastery of techno and hardhouse, Run With the Wolves and Piranha could be off Fat of the Land, Take me to the Hospital and Thunder are reminiscent of the ragga rave days of the early nineties but with a modern twist, Stand Up although sounding like it would fit in better on a Fat Boy Slim album manages somehow to capture the feeling of the Narcotic Suite, and Warrior's Dance takes me back to the heady club nights where No Good Start the Dance dominated.
My only criticism of the album would be the inclusion of the Omen Reprise three quarters of the way through. It should really appear as an introduction to Omen not randomly shoved where it is breaking the pace and atmosphere.
In many ways this album is a homage to their earlier sounds but with a taste of something new. The Prodigy are still inventive, still able to produce the most exciting big beats on your sound system and on stage and still the leading band in electronica.
I have been a fan of the prodigy since the prodigy experience. Love all that old school beats, typewriters clacking, cash register bells dinging and thumping drums and daft vocals. Love it.
Lets face it, after the masterpiece of jilted generation the only way was down. Fat of the Land was lacklustre and outnumbered, never outgunned, well lets just say that this was made by Howlett in his bedroom on a laptop without the nutjobs Keith and Maxim howling and jumping about. I confess to having previously thought that they were just window dressing, poster boys for the rave generation. But apparently not. They boys are back together and they have, in my opinion, wisely opted to go for what they do best. Straight out techno which they thump out with such aplomb and zeal you cant help but be carried along by the enthusiasm and love for such a foundering genre.
Where this album, and the Prodigy as a group, win out is that they don't appear to endorse or participate in the elitist snobbery that sits at the heart of dance music. Their tracks are accessible, inclusive and truly for the masses. You can keep your Cream and Ministry of Sound with derivative house music intended for sophisticates and those who covet status. This is honest, refreshing music and for the forty or so minutes this album lasts I feel like I am fifteen years old again and falling in love with exciting music that makes you wanna dance.
What more could you ask for or want. If you want some Prodigy but dont want to get the back catalogue I would suggest jilted generation and this. You are covered for all things Prodigy and will find yoursel in the presence of techno genius.
on 16 February 2009
I've waited years and years for this album and it didn't disappoint one bit. Reading interviews with the band in the build up to the release excited me. Liam ditching his new studio in favour of digging out the old beat machines from the Experience/Music For The Jilted Generation days even more so.
So so many memories of Experience came back from a few tracks on here. But it has everything for any Prodigy fan, whatever your favourite Prodigy album is (if its Always Outnumbered, your probably best avoiding this!). A lot of people were worried that this would be a Pendulum Jr. album. The first Pendulum album was very Prodigyesque, full of fun beats and dirty rhythms. The second however, was one of the biggest declines of musical standards I have ever heard. Awful awful radio friendly rubbish. Why would a drum and bass outfit decide to turn into a band? Stick to what you were good at, and thats making DnB guys.
So I admit that Pendulums fall from grace probably has helped the guys with this. But even so, its absolutely superb. Anyone who had the misfortune of buying Always Outnumbered will be as delighted as me with this.
Stand out tracks for me are, Warriors Dance (the promo copy was superb, the album version is rigoddamndiculous), Take Me To The Hospital (look out for the Experience style samples), Worlds On Fire (which I heard at a few festivals last summer, the piano riff did it for me everytime), Omen (definately a grower, the beats and changes sell it) and the very un-Prodigy like Stand Up at the end (the compulsory Liam chill out track, something different which will probably end up being the marmite track).
I expect that the polished album version will have some mixing in between tracks, which the version I've heard lacks. I have my material copy turning up Monday morning, and I can't wait to get in on the hi fi and stick the sub up loud.
on 3 April 2009
I confess I've been a fan of the Prodigy since Experience was on vinyl...for any kids reading this who don't know what that is - go ask your parents. Personally, I thought they peaked with Experience/Music for the Gilted Generation....probably the latter if I had to choose. I say this so that you know what side of their music I like and can then make your own judgement on whether this review is going to be useful to you.
Anyway, down to business - first off Invanders Must Die, great title surprisingly weak tune. After all the hype about this album being a return to form I thought this track was one of the weakest they could have used as the big single, it's good but no better than the likes of Spitfire from Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (an album which marks the low point of their work in my eyes). Still, after getting through the static fuzziness of the opening track you start to hit little nuggets of gold. Omen is my tip to be their new Firestarter, even if it does appear on the track list twice! Thunder is a nice nod towards Out of Space to my mind and Warriors Dance is simply fantastic. Also keep an eye out for the feel good (almost Fatboy Slim style) Stand Up.
Overall then, it still has it's flaws and still a little bit too "fuzzy" sound wise for me but it's most certainly a step in the right direction and I imagine most fans (other than the old hardcore ravers perhaps) will enjoy it.
on 23 February 2009
The Masters are back BIG STYLE!! This is so fresh for just now yet really retro as well but that is what is current at moment. All tracks are incredible so can't single out any. Album version of "Omen" is better than one released on EP. "Warrior's Dance" is just perfection in 90s retro way. The album is just so good it's difficult to describe! I am DESPERATE to see them live now in the Summer but I am in a remote part of Canada where they won't visit! I will see them somewhere! Basically, if you have like ANY of Prodigy's prior albums you will love this.Thank God for Prodigy as the music scene was getting a tad dull of late! It's now exploded and I am sure some others will try to replicate them which is a good thing. All in, buy it NOW!