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Album Review

by The Chemical Brothers


Review Date
Reviewed by
Gareth Meade

Anyone who has a soft spot for The Chemical Brothers is always going to be drawn to a new release from the duo. It’s drawing in new blood that is going to be a challenge for them now though, thanks to a rich diet of dance music that they both ushered in and subsequently faded behind. While anyone wanting to check out The Chemical Brothers for the first time should always begin with their classic 1997 ‘big beat’ album Dig Your Own Hole, you could do a lot worse than to get your hands on new album Further as well.

Seemingly inspired by their own work, especially 1999’s Surrender, Further is the most comfortable The Chemical Brothers have sounded for a long time. They can ease you in with melancholic opener ‘Snow’ just as quickly as they can hold you transfixed for 11 minutes on the epic ‘Escape Velocity’. It all sounds like it’s the easiest and most natural thing in the world to them, which of course it probably is.

Touted as the first Chemical Brothers album not to feature any guest vocalists, that doesn’t mean that there are no vocals. They are however, much less prevalent than on previous albums and Further is helped by that fact. There is less here that stands alone as each song sounds like a natural progression from the last. That also means that each song tends to unveil itself gradually; you won’t find the immediacy of a ‘Block Rocking Beats’ here for example, but that makes tracks like ‘Another World’ and K+D+B ultimately more rewarding because of their ability to reveal different things about themselves on repeat listens.

Of course, The Chemical Brothers are always going to throw in one hedonistic gatecrasher though, which in this instance comes in the form of ‘Swoon’. The title of the tack really says it all as the music literally swoons around you, building exponentially over a tight bass line and handclaps.

As Further draws to a close on the rocky ‘Wonders Of The Deep’, it really is easy to see that this is The Chemical Brothers returning to form. They sound as happy about it as you will feel listening to it, whether it’s your first time or you 1000th time.

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