3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Hits and indulgences from the Chemical Brothers,
This review is from: Surrender (Audio CD)
It's tough to be fans of Tom and Ed, a.k.a. the Chemical Brothers. From their early DJ sets to their breakthrough and still best album Exit Planet Dust, we know what breakbeat fueled wonders they're capable of. Yet they continue to stray from their "Big Beat" sound after hearing the waves of similar bands, and this is their farthest departure yet.
So on the one hand we get glorious remnants of what they can do; Music:Response is a funky, bleepy stormer, and easily the best tune on the disc. It blends into "Under the Influence" with its huge dropping baseline and flittering melody on top. It then mixes not so well into the dud "Out of Control," mostly a failure due to Sumner's vocals. Check out their B-side on the Music:Response CD single for a much better, vocalless glimpse of what this song could have been. "Orange Wedge" is layered percussion that doesn't do much, while "Let Forever Be" is Beatles meets the Brothers, and the most debatable track. "The Sunshine Underground" is the spiritual heart of the CD, a psychedelic 8 minute piece that is, as always, cleverly produced but ultimately a shallow attempt at a vision not carried through. "Asleep from Day" is instantly skippable, featuring the drowsy vocals of Mazzy Star. But things do start to pick up with the excellent "Got Glint" and it's acid house leanings and "Hey Boy, Hey Girl" with it's simple yet catchy old school sample. The disc ends with a failed attempt to capture the flavor of "Private Psychedelic Reel."
The Brothers prove that when they want to make hits to move you, they are masters- there are 5 hits on this CD which warrant this a great purchase. But when they make songs to please themselves, the efforts are not compelling enough for us to join in.