The Chemical Brothers
We Are The Night


2.5
average

Review

by Zachary Powell USER (64 Reviews)
July 25th, 2007 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Brothers gonna work it out...kinda

With the amount of success and fame they have achieved in their 15 year career, it would seem surprising that both Chemical Brothers (Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons) reside behind the turntables and let a revolving cast of guest spots voice their music. You can hear one of their tunes just about anywhere, dance floors that shoot green lasers, alternative radio late at night, and even Budweiser commercials. What this makes clear is the versatility and the creative expenditure that the band has come to embrace. We Are the Night works as a sum of this equation; adding on rappers, singers, (block) rockin' beats, and smooth synthesized tunes to make a complete album. However, this also works against the band as some of the songs (especially near the end) turn out in some cases bland, and in one case horrible and cheesy.

First songs from Chemical Brothers albums are more critical than you think; not only does it set the tone for the rest of the record, but it usually turns into the landmark song for that point in time ("Block Rockin Beats" for Dig Your Own Hole, "Galvanize" for Push the Button et all). Though "No Path To Follow" passes by as a slim and formless introduction that sounds like digital breathing with the title of the track being repeated throughout, there is some salvation found in the following title track. Loud digital humming and a bunch of fun effects are tailed by a sped up bass line, mix in a repeating drum line and you have the first sweet song of the record. "We Are The Night" isn't the perfect album opener, but it does its job by providing the listener with a song that is heavy in repetitions and very long. What comes with this is a rhythmic pulse that meshes with the song, groove, and a somewhat creepy and a nighttime mixer is born. Another good feature about this record is how some of the many collaborations came out, "Do It Again" was released as the lead single and the song makes it obvious why. A big beat and deeply voiced (to the tune of "do it again" many times) verses are let to run around, but only exist to counter the higher voiced Ali Love as he spouts lines about fun and bubble gum. The song does a good job of balancing out both equations of pop singing and big beat electronica to create a decent single.

The beats on here are catchy and the songs are fun, so why is this a 2.5? One of the main problems with We Are the Night which seems to present itself over and over again is the length of the album. Only three of the record's twelve songs clock in at under four and a half minutes. One of them is the previously mentioned "No Path to Follow", which is basically just a lead-in to the title track. Another is a collaboration featuring former Pharcyde MC Fatlip. It would seem that this would follow up Q-Tip's standout contribution to Push the Button, but instead listeners are treated to a song they wish could be hidden in the pile of this album. It doesn't seem so bad in the beginning, the musical section laid down doesn't seem too high energy or fast paced, but it can work.

Oh...there's a partner named Sammy the Salmon...who says "what it do".

At this point the listener can only hope for the best and hope this track reverts to something else. Right as this thought crosses, the song trips down the slope of its own design. Its horribly cheesy, it under utilizes Fatlips's abilities as an MC, and after a couple verses of this you'll wish its over. But it doesn't end until a seemingly too long 3:40, 3:30 of which could have been used to cover "My Humps" and it wouldn't have been nearly as bad. From here the album seems to lose steam, like Sammy the Salmon knocked the wind out of the record and it was never able to recover. "Burst Generator" sounds like retro Chemical Brothers, but follows the lead and goes on for far too long.

We Are the Night is a highly ambitious record that attempts to deli ever to its fans with a lot of style and variety. Somewhere along there however, making a quality record got mixed up with making one with a lot of variety. What is the end result is a record that runs quite average, there are some quality songs that can be picked from it ("We Are the Night". "Do it Again", "All Rights Reserved") but by itself it will lose many listeners.



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user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
hyperboleking
July 25th 2007


407 Comments


Good review, bad album.

samthebassman
July 25th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review... this album has some really high points but at times it hits rock bottom.

Not even close to being in the same league as Surrender or Push The Button.

Zmev
July 25th 2007


983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't you have this as a 3.5?

I actually used to have mine around there too but repeated listens killed this thing. It just doesn't stand the test of a couple days

Two-Headed Boy
July 25th 2007


4527 Comments


Ehhh Chemical Brothers are really hit or miss with me. I like a couple albums, but others just flat out annoy me. So I'm not gonna buy this.

angelfyre
July 25th 2007


24 Comments


I would never have known about "Galvanize" had it not been for that Budweiser commercial. :-)

Good review, well written.

samthebassman
July 26th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah Zmev, exactly the same thing happened to me...

samthebassman
July 26th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

How the shit...This Message Edited On 07.26.07

samthebassman
July 26th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

did I just triple post???This Message Edited On 07.26.07

DeathKnell
July 27th 2007


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm no electro fan, but I find that your review of such a simplistic genre of music is a little too critical. Salmon Dance is a really fun, catchy song, and you didn't even mention Battle Scars, probably the most intense song on the album. I'll admit it's repetitive, but isn't that what this genre is, beats and clicks and whistles? That's the reason I listen to it, anyways.

Zmev
July 27th 2007


983 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

1. Electronica isn't a "simplistic" genre at all.

2. Salmon Dance is god awful and hard to listen to.

3. Not every electronica thing is repetitive, it can be repetitive and it can be done well but - well you get where I'm going with this.

samthebassman
August 23rd 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Salmon Dance is probably the worst thing they have ever done to be completely honest.

unbornchikkenvoices
September 26th 2007


78 Comments


fight, fight, fight...

unbornchikkenvoices
September 26th 2007


78 Comments


"simplistic genre of music"

Radiohead - Kid A.

Now say that Electronica is simlistic.

astrel
December 13th 2007


2614 Comments


The salmon dance is so cheesy and campy that I love it.

Cloverfield
January 23rd 2008


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Salmon Dance pushed the boundaries of extremely cheesy music, yet why do I love it so much?

Great album, but not anywhere near as good as Dig Your Own Hole. Das Spiegel is a standout song....

Nadinus
March 17th 2008


21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't heard much from their other albums, but I really liked this one. "All rights Reversed" is an awesome song imo.

MrHell
September 23rd 2008


157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, this album deserves a bit more than "average". What they set out to do was create a landscape album (if such a thing existed), which is probably meant for headphones only.
Tbh, I really liked this one. My fav. album from them. (I hate The Salmon Dance, lol)

IAJP
August 14th 2010


378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i really like a few tunes off this album, but as we all know that's no reason to fall in love with an album. seems like a more recent thing they pack their albums out with a lot of really gay filler, i wouldnt mind if it was obvious, danceable filler, that's what i liked about a lot of their other older albums, some of the music was filler, but it worked because it at least was easy to dance to. a lot of the stuff on here is crappy, experimental, and just not fun.

but as i say, a few tracks really grab me, loved the salmon dance (eek) ever since i heard it when i was out ages ago, do it again ranks as one of their best tracks for a long time, battle scars is great, the title track is good, and a modern midnight conversation is obviously great. but yeah, good review zachartttth.

Minion
April 15th 2011


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Das Spiegel, All Rights Reserved and Seal are probably the best tracks for monotonous listening pleasures that electronica was made for. If a song has meaning it can't be electronica :p

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2011


31215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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