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Chemical Brothers | Come With Us | review | electro | rock | Lollipop

The Chemical Brothers

Come With Us (Astralwerks)
by Lex Marburger

Much to the chagrin of the editor, I've been holding on to this one for a while. I figured I needed some alone time with The Chemical Brothers, seeing as I felt their post-Dig Your Own Hole stuff didn't strike me as all that interesting. Too much incessant repetition, not enough rhythmic interest - dance albums, really. And while I like to dance, I also want to be able to listen to it at home. So, the day has come where I can say Come With Us is a pretty good album. The boys have changed their sound... no, not really, kinda... Well, they've changed their approach, that's for sure. Instead of their old pattern of setting up a groove, the filter tweaking it into the realm of shriekingly unbearable, then dropping in one of those low frequency bombs to start all over again (see "Loops of Fury" for a textbook case), they're kinda writing songs. Kinda, cuz there's still that dance thing tucked away in tracks like "It Began in Africa," although it does add some pretty cool drum parts in the breakdown. But take the track "My Elastic Eye," for example. It starts with a calliope-type loop, and you think it's gonna drop into that high-tempo thing they do, but instead it launches into this down-time almost-dub, crunchy bassline & stuttering breakbeat, and to top it all off, an actual "B" section, hook and all! Fade that into the next track, the (now-mandatory?) Beth Orton feature "The State We're In," and you've got 10 good, mellow minutes of solid music (which is more than I can say for some tekno albums). Funny how I don't really like Beth on her own stuff, but when she gets together with the Brothers, it all sorta works out. Not as good as the new Prodigy album, but damn, what do you want from two guys who revolutionized electronic music, and then hid behind a dance beat for 10 years? Oh, yeah. Never mind, I answered my own question.
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