Review Summary: Further: an album only a pair of starry-eyed club-hoppers who are far too old for the label could make.8 of 9 thought this review was well written
The Chemical Brothers seemed to be woozy back in 2005, and two years later they seemed uncomfortable and desperate. With their fifth album, Push the Button
, The Bros. seemed to have faltered, and it seemed more like an easily fixable mistake rather than what its successor, We are the Night
, was: an unsightly scar on the face of their career. While Button
seemed slightly off-putting and maybe a little forced, Night
was a failure in all aspects; due to the chain of slumps, reevaluations were necessary. Had The Chemical Brothers always been a one-trick pony? Each of their records have the same formula: let the fun club-cornerstones drive the album while the abstract psychedelic tracks slink into the back seat. It was a forgivable flaw though, as the combination proved successful for four consecutive albums. What wasn't such a forgivable flaw was that as the band continued, their results worsened. Could anyone listen to a Chem record the same way as they had with Dig Your Own Hole
, or even Come With Us
proves that we can.
is one of those albums that's not concerned with singular songs by any means necessary, using tracks as movements to compose a much more successful and enthralling whole. Album opener "Snow" reveals this fact right away, dancing around vocalized mantras, manufactured lulls, and other electric trimmings, such as flickers of buzz. After a climactic sense of exigency, "Escape Velocity" rolls around, toying with intense dynamics and ambience, also marking the first percussive appearance on the album. This sort of vibe is given off throughout the whole album, even if it hardly ever compares to the dizzying proportions of the first two tracks.
It's from the third song onward that The Chemical Brothers meshes this sort of ambience with the characteristics of their better works. "Horse Power" is the obligatory low-end, but morosely humorous, techno track, matched in terms of necessity only by "K+D+B," the possibly drug-addled krautrock piece. With these tracks, Further
proves that it's not just a synthesis of timbral sounds and personalities, but that and the choppy syncretism of their most successful outings. Low-end drones collide with fuzzy, club-friendly workings throughout the later half of the album, without the character of Further
's beginnings, but with a refreshing energy. Still, the starry-eyed post-adolescent character remains a mainstay throughout the album, and that's one of Further
's best features.