Review Summary: JXL's authenticity is lost forever in this rollercoaster of overproduced techno.
Junkie XL is the Dutchman DJ dude we all probably know from video games. He has created some of the best pieces of soundtrack music ever heard, and its both stimulating and refreshing. Electronic music has since then come a long way, constantly revamping the genre so that modern day acts like The Chemical Brothers may appeal to a larger audience. However, JXL hasn't quite remained true to his word ever since the ground-breaking album 'Big Sounds of the Drags'. His albums have gone from electro-god, to Coldplay imitator right up to mixtape monster. Now, its just plain daft.
'Booming Back At You' is JXL's dance message to the world. In all simplicity, you could say this was an overnight achievement. The beats are a little on the repetitive side, and the samples thrown in seem unfinished and rushed. Not to mention the god-awful Laura Rocket hogging half of the songs with her punk-sweety vocals. It first seems as if 'Booming Back At You' was created for video games and movies to rip the music from, and with immense success. Need for Speed: ProStreet had already taken a huge chunk of Junkie's single 'F*ck More' and has placed more remixes in the game than Michael Jackson on New Year's Eve. I can go on forever on the flaws and major setbacks about the album, but it does have a bright side. Sought of.
Some songs shine with hype and action, presenting very stimulating music. Take it to gym, a guaranteed workout experience. 'New Toy' keeps up with the mainstream in old-skool fashion. The electronic bass is simple, but annoyingly catchy. In fact, a lot of the songs are. 'F*ck More', although hugely overplayed, is a likeable track, and has a pumping techno beat with hardcore synth effects. Laura Rocket plays her card here as well, but don't expect too much out of it. 'Booming Right At You' seems like something you would pick straight out of a cheesy 80's retro club movie. The sample is directly pointed at the old folks trying to dig up a past filled with laughable haircuts and groovy funk tunes. Could've been a very good song, if it wasn't for the incredible stretched out length.
Half of the album is spent in a childish tone, constantly blasting and "booming back" at us with overproduced, psycho-electroma tracks. The guitar riffs are boring, to be honest. Its a nifty formula, the collaboration of dance and rock, but has proven worthy in the eyes of The Prodigy, not for Junkie XL. The techno feel of the tracks are well missing halfway through, and instead are replaced with Laura Rocket, which is a bad thing. If this album has tought me anything, punk vocals do not improve a B-grade electronic song, even for a guy like Keith Flint. Ironically, it works well for him... sometimes.
My conclusion is straight-forward and simple, do not buy this album! Rather spend a good amount of money downloading the recommended tracks of iTunes. Gone are the days of JXL's Big Sounds. The only thing worthwhile for 'Booming Back At You' is its playful theme. The songs feel misplaced and empty, no production value at all. If you ask me, this would've worked better as a mixtape. Not a good attempt, Junkie...
"Cities in Dust"