12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Return of CHICANE!!!!!!!,
This review is from: Giants (Audio CD)
I don`t think there has been an album so eagerly awaited by the fans of Chicane as there has this one. It has so much to prove and to banish the Easy to Assemble / Somersault era, that followers of Mr Bracegirdle`s work have waited with baited breath to see what would emerge from his studio. Well, after an initial delay we now have our answer... GIANTS..!
Gone is the euro-pop awkwardness of the previous offering, here we have a sublime return to form as the sound we already knew and loved from Behind the Sun and Far from the maddening crowd seeps seemlessly into this latest work. There are a couple of nods to the Somersault days but thankfully these are very limited, although in defence of Somersault there were a couple of decent tracks on there (Spirit, The way im feelin`. Its very obvious from the opening track here that Chicane has returned back to where he belongs. "Barefoot" is classic Chicane, slow to build with every little bit of added layer but wonderful to behold when it reaches its peak. "Middledistancerunner" (why no spaces i wonder?) is catchy, a good mix of old/new Chicane and wonderful Adam Young sample - a good choice for a single release, and indeed i would urge you to check the different mixes on I-Tunes. "Come Back" isn`t in the same league and does feel like a rather poor attempt at a commercial track for club play, it does not fit in well with the album, but having said that, its one of those you can`t help tap your foot too. "What am i doing here PT1" is a bleak, haunting track which reminded me a little of No Ordinary Morning from the Behind the Sun album, nonetheless it was perfectly acceptable here. Did i detect the same track layer from Middledistancerunner used again in here..? "Giants", the title track, was a little off-putting on the first play but repeated plays have given me the idea that Nick is having a laugh with this one, its so clearly not Chicane and yet it is... wonderful. "Poppiholla" is a personal favourite of mine, i liked the original very first time i heard it and i still have not tired of it. It has drawn comments from crtics but i felt it emerged at the right time and is a great example of a Chicane sample and a summer anthem all in one. "So far out to sea" - oooh, this is soooo good. I HAD to repeat play this track a few times... classic. "Where do i start?" is Chicane again back in well worn pathway territory, and all the better for it. "From where i stand" is simply stunning and i agree with another reviewer here, it would be my choice for second single release. Can`t wait to hear a Disco Citizens remix of it, or even Thrillseekers mix... "Hiding all the Stars" uses that wonderfully iconic sample from Gary Numans Cars bolted onto a meaty Chicane serving of radio friendly pop. Not his best but like Come Back, its just about acceptable. "What am i doing here PT2" has Lemar`s vocal heavily synthed and mixed, but a damn good track and yes, as stated elsewhere i can see it being a minor hit for the singer should he release it separately. As the album closes with "Titles" we have that trademark, dream-like melodic Chicane sound back again, round it off neatly... that is - if it was not for the unlisted track 13, which turns out to be remix of Middledistancerunner...
Overall - Chicane is most definitely back, and back bigtime!! This album demonstrates he cares about his fans as their complaints about the last album have not only been heard but acted upon too. It would have been nice to not have Come Back or Hiding all the Stars on here as i feel that they have done what they had to do on EP`s so their inclusion here smacks a little of laziness. Oh how good it could have been with two new tracks to replace them...?
Haunting and melodic, trancey and yet delicate, and with enough new ground taken to make this stand out as a return to form, Giants is the Chicane album we have been waiting for.
Yep... Chicane is most DEFINITELY back....!!!!!!!!!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Sep 2010 14:29:41 BDT
What Am I Doing Here really doesn't hold a candle to No Ordinary Morning. Giants is a great album, but i just can't 'get into' it as fully as i'd really like to when the wonderful music has so-so lyrics trampling all over it. No Ordinary Morning's music and lyrics felt cohesive as a whole, one complementing the other, whereas many of the tracks on Giants feel like two different entities mixed together. No flames please, I am a huge Chicane fan, and the album still gets a 5*.... but i'd love a no lyric version just to satiate my curiosity!
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2010 21:46:27 BDT
Colin Leslie Smith says:
Needless to say, music is very much a medium of acquired taste to some people, and easily accessible to others. Being a great fan of Chicane does not entirely mean you only enjoy that artist but you must have some sort of connection with music from other artists to so that you can understand where Chicane draws upon himself for his compositions. I disagree that the lyrics tramp all over it, its meant to be a lyrical piece, and if you listen to them they have coherence between the two "What am i doing here" tracks, and i don`t just mean the chorus - they are two sides of the same viewpoint told by a male and female, obviously in a relationship which has faltered, gone off the rails somehow and they are trying to come to terms with what gone on and how they ended up where they are, hence the question: "what am i doing here?". Its almost exactly the same context of the song "No Ordinary Morning" which also deals with a break-up and coming to terms issues, but whereas the new track from Giants just reaches the question, No Ordinary Morning reaches the conclusion, especially if you have seen the video for it.
Therefore i feel it compliments rather than tries to better No Ordinary Morning, and if both tracks had appeared on the Behind the Sun album, no doubt they would have felt more cohesive and whole as you suggest, you have to allow for the progression in Nick`s music to see he has come full circle.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Sep 2010 16:07:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Sep 2010 16:08:36 BDT
I have a pretty broad spectrum as far as music tastes go. From Hanz Zimmer, James Horner, Ennio Morricone, etc and their wonderful film scores, through the speaker melting bass of Pendulum and microphone destroying growls of thrash metal (let's hope Nick/Chicane doesn't draw inspiration from the last of those three! :o)....Odd then that after giving both versions, or parts, of 'What Am I Doing Here' another listen, I still find them jarring. Part 1 for me is a total right-off. Part 2 has a nice familiar Chicane vibe running through it, but the vocoder-like tweaking of the vocals is just too harsh on both. I'm not sure if it has been done for any particular reason that i'm missing? As for the other songs, no, the lyrics don't trample but for some reason I find them very distracting. Songs from Chicane like Come Tomorrow, No Ordinary Morning, the incredible Strong In Love, Stoned In Love, Middledistancerunner and even the universally hated Hiding All The Stars wouldn't be the same without their lyrics... It's odd really that looking back through Chicane tracks there are quite a number with lyrics running through them and i've never questioned it. They worked and worked wonderfully. And maybe my point is that some of the lyrics on these new tracks feel tacked on to be radio/club friendly. That might not be the case, but that's how it feels.
Posted on 29 Sep 2010 12:34:41 BDT
N Snow says:
I don't know what you people are smoking. This is a terrible Chicane album. 'Far From' was groundbreaking, blissed out summer anthem material and 'Behind The Sun' was a superb commercial club album with those classics everyone remembers. But, Trance music went (very) tacky around the year 2001, the year after Behind The Sun and has limped on ever since. People like Tiesto, DJ Sammy and Ian Van Dahl milked Trance to death long before Above and Beyond and David Guetta's time. Chicane's last album at least took a new direction, even if it wasn't as well recieved. But with 'Giants', Bracegirdle and co have spewed out a commercial club album so mediocre it deserves to be played to death by Pete Tong.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2010 10:37:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Oct 2010 10:38:00 BDT
...nice cut and paste job...
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