11.07.2008

The Chemical Brothers: We Are The Night

I'm not really sure what it is about these guys that got both critics and music fans in such a tizzy in the late '90s. Yeah, they make energetic dance music that has elements of rock. So what? So do about a hundred other dance/rock hybrids. The Chemical Brothers are a band that mastered the lowest common denominator of both rock and electronica, but never excelled at either genre.

My opinion is not held by many people, though. Since I haven't listened to anything the band has released since Surrender came out in '99, I figure it's time to see if there's a bit more chemistry between my ears and their sound.

Music: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
The production is very good, but We Are The Night is dull. The band still knows how to rock, but they don't go in that direction very often. (When they do, they rock in a very safe and commercial way... kind of like the Foo Fighters.) Most of the music is the safe, light, middle-of-the-road electronica that I've come to expect from groups like Air. "Do It Again" is my favorite track on the album, but it sounds like it could've been on pretty much any Felix Da Housecat 12" from the past five years (which has hardly been Mr. Housecat's best period).

Packaging: 2.5 EPFL library cards out of a possible 5
Eh. The constellation motif is kind of neat, and the mountain motif is kind of neat, and the hand motif is kind of neat, yet it's all kind of boring. As with the music, there's just not enough here to hold my attention.

Listen if you like: Easy-to-digest dance music like Air. Those of you who miss Pharcyde should like "The Salmon Dance" (which features vocalist Fatlip), but the song sticks out like a sore thumb. Fans of the sound that made The Chemical Brothers famous won't find much here.

If it were food, it'd be: Campbell's soup. Its watered-down taste appeals to the masses but is utterly uninspired.

7 comments:

The Daily Breather said...

Ha! That's pretty much what I expected to hear from this review. LCD music for the masses. When This group came out in the late 90's I was already pretty deep into techno music and this was the fluff that would appeal to Virgin Fest crowds. Although I'd never buy this CD I enjoyed the review. Thanks.

taotechuck said...

Breather, I'm actually kind of pleased to know that I'm not the only techno fan out there who thinks these guys are way overrated. So, any recommendations on some music I might not have heard?

Master Cianan said...

I agree the Chemical Brothers are middly synth droppings, but AIR is dance music? Who would dance to AIR?
Get stoned or have sex, but dance?

taotechuck said...

My question is, who would do anything to Air? The only thing listening to them makes me want to do is turn off the damned CD and throw it out the window. And if that's not a possibility, then maybe I'd consider gouging out my eardrums with a pencil.

taotechuck said...

Hey Breather, just looked at your profile. You've got to check out the Nicky Siano CD that's at Pratt if you like the transition from disco to house/garage. Good stuff.

The Daily Breather said...

Hey Tao TC, thanks for the disco/house link. I'll give you some local tips and other on quality (?) muzak. Ha. I got the latest Air cd from BMG. Never heard them before. Yea, get stoney and screw but no dance.

http://www.bmore-electro.com/
(Detroit transplants in Baltimore bring in new talent from Detroit. Fresh)

Sorry Pratt, didn'ty mean to hijack your blog for shameless plugs. All done.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

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