Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
ODDS ON FAVOURITES
on 14 April 2009
You have to encourage British drum and bass producers who aren't afraid to mix it up a little and borrow influences from elsewhere; this is what Chase and Status have done whilst still retaining the harsher and darker side of drum and bass. The record actually starts of on a melodic uplifting vibe with 'Can't Get Enough' which has a pleasant enough set of riff and vocals. However, there's a slight dip in quality with the next track 'Music Club'; the glockenspiel-influenced hook that runs through the track threatens to sound annoying although the fusty old man vocal samples go beyond threatening - it's a concept track that I just can't get on board with. The duo take a breather from breakbeat and plunge head on into UK hip-hop with the help of Kano; and to be fair to them, it's a pretty good effort with memorable chorus samples and Kano's lyrics are entertaining enough.
It's back to more drum and bass beats and 'Street Life' is laced with impressive melancholic and intelligent beats. The lyrics flirt with ghetto life and turf war and you kinda hope Chase and Status are doing this for parody reasons a la Freestylers rather than covering a theme in ernest that has been done to death.
Things get heavier and even better with Smash TV; Axl Rose samples sit splendidly with speaker-ripping jungle beats which are slowed down to cause maximum impact and the same darkness appears on 'Pieces' although that track is punctured with melodic vocals; the result is an awesome dichotomous unsettling and sultry treat.
The duo really show their musical talents on 'Eastern Jam' where Indian female vocal samples are spliced with slow burning catchy hip-hop beats. 'Take Me Away' is the next track and probably the best one on the album; dreamy breakbeats take you back to the early days of jungle as do the diva vocals that power the track; it's a song you can easily lose yourself in. 'Hurt You' is like part two of 'Take Me Away' and that's not a bad thing - just more abstract breakbeats and more melodic vocals. 'Running' slows thing down again but it's just as good; eighties synths and catchy vocals make this one of the highlights of the album.
'Take You There' intends to blend saucy vocals with seductive breakbeats but that sounds better on paper than the actual outcome but then I was never a fan of soft porn in the form of lyrics. Nevertheless the album finishes off on a high note with 'Is It Worth It' with dark catchy jungle beats that Goldie and a young Liam Howlett would be proud of although not sure if the vocals are really necessary on this track. On the whole, there's a fine mix of heavy beats, catchy melodies and clever hooks to keep you happy with this record and eagerly await a more polished follow up album.