Photo by G.
I’ve been a fan of the Chemical Brothers for a really long time so naturally, I was very excited to check out their new album “Further,” nearly a month before it’s official release date. I’m going to review this album track by track as I listen to it for the first time, to keep my perspectives fresh. Here we go…
1. Snow. The opening track has a long “feedback” intro with a female choir vocal that repeats “Your love keeps lifting me higher” over and over again. As the track progresses, it definitely has a nice build up (and even gives you the feeling of a plane about to launch), but the track doesn’t really take off.
2. Escape Velocity. “Snow” melds right into this song and the vocals from “Snow” are used for the first minute of the song. They fade away at that point and again, we feel like something is about to launch. Once the track gets going around the 2 minute mark, I am pleased to report – The Chemical Brothers are back! The track gets better and better as it progresses and more and more instruments and samples are introduced. The song has 2 breakdowns in the middle, like most good club tracks, where it gets slower (and again has the “about to launch” sound) and then it explodes into a club thumping frenzy! The track clocks in at 12 minutes and 7 secconds and it’s awesome!
3. Another World. This track starts out like an after-hours chill-out track and then the track features female vocals. My review copy did not come with liner notes, so I am not sure who the guest vocalist is, but I am liking it. The track stays pretty subdued throughout, but has a nice post-punk ending.
4. Dissolve. This track is pure Chemical Brothers bliss. It starts off quiet and reminds me of “Let Forever Be” once it gets going. There are male vocals towards the end of the song that are saying “Caroline” over and over again. I think this would be a good choice for a single. My brain is imagining a really cool video to go along with this track. At the end of the song, there’s a tribal beat breakdown and I am loving this song on first listen.
5. Horse Power. Dissolve literally dissolves into this track and a robotic voice repeats “Horse Power,” over and over again. The track even has horse noises as samples throughout. This is another track that I can see making clubkids go wild on the dance floor. It reminds me of something you’d hear at an industrial music night, and again, I am digging it. The track gets more ferocious as it progresses, adding effects and trippy beats.
6. Swoon. The first single off this album, Swoon starts off kind of slow and is definitely a late-night groover. There’s a lot going on in this track and though it’s not my immediate favorite, I do like it. I would love to see a video mashup of this song mixed with images from the female graffiti artist of the same name.
7. K + D +B. Funky drums open this track and there are male vocals on this song that are very reminiscent of Thom Yorke of Radiohead. I am liking this song a lot on first listen. I also think this song would make a good choice for a single. It’s got a catchy beat that is making it really hard for me to type and listen at the same time. Towards the 4 minute mark in the song, the vocals (“Higher and higher”) are sung by a female voice and then the male and female join in unison.
8. Wonders of the Deep. The track starts off very quiet and then has a cute little alt-electronic groove. There are male and robotic vocals that sound like the singer from track 7. This song definitely sounds like an album closer. As I listen to it, it has a reflective vibe to it, where I can feel myself thinking back on the brilliance I’ve just been listening to for the last hour.
There’s going to be a special edition CD/DVD package when this album is released on June 22, 2010 that will feature a making of documentary and on Itunes, the band is presenting a 51 minute visual package to go along with the album. I’m sure that’s going to be fantastic. I think this album will please both die hard Chemical Brothers fans as well as newbies who are just hearing of this electronic duo for the first time. Let us know what you think!