No forward motion
On 1997’s Dig Your Own Hole, The Chemical Brothers did just that.
Arguably the best big-beat album from the best 90’s electronic squad (sorry, Prodigy), Hole set a benchmark that the duo has failed to live up to for the last 13 years. Their seventh LP attempts to recapture the metallic sheen of their heyday, and though there are no “Block Rockin’ Beats” here, it’s not for lack of trying. The Brothers sincerely want you to dance, and they spend Further’s 50 minutes creating alternately spacey (“K+D+B”) and vicious (“Horse Power”) electronic sketches. If the 12-minute “Escape Velocity” weren’t bloated enough, it ends with skittish “Baba O’Riley”-like blips; meanwhile, “Swoon” includes a great synth whiplash and “Another World” sounds like an underwater rave. The biggest problem is how these songs come in only two settings: They either build to some grand crescendo or groove atop that crescendo, making the whole album painfully predictable. A few gems, sure, but Further doesn’t fly far enough.