The Prodigy
Music for the Jilted Generation


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (151 Reviews)
July 1st, 2015 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For Tomorrow: A Guide to Contemporary British Music, 1988-2013 (Part 8.5)

As surely as the sun will rise, teenagers will be angry. And as certain as the setting of that same sun, those teenagers will be misunderstood. Due to this anger/misunderstanding complex inherent in teens, music has always risen to the challenge of creating a sound as angry and misunderstood as those teeangers. Something the bored loner can blare through his headphones between passing periods or crank up in his mom’s Subaru. For a period stretching from the first time The Kinks took razor blades to speaker cones to create “You Really Got Me” in 1964 to Guns ‘n’ Roses eager endorsements of drunk driving on Appetite for Destruction in 1986, guitar rock has fulfilled this role. But with the arrival of rap music in the popular conscious - more specifically the release of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton in 1988 - nearly all guitar music was rendered downright quaint by comparison almost immediately. As a consequence, loud guitars would no longer be enough to satiate the disaffected masses, now they needed something that their parents couldn't even recognize as music.

The Prodigy stepped into their role as teenage angst conduit with the aptly titled Music for the Jilted Generation. Taking cues from rap music’s chaotic sampling (a la Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad) and raw statements (“*** em and their law”), Music for the Jilted Generation retains its explosive power by being proudly obnoxious. Almost every instrument here, whether its the shattering of glass or a pitched up vocal or a sampled car alarm for god sakes, is designed to annoy and command attention. It’s a bold rejection of London’s anti-rave Criminal Justice and Public Order Act as just about every second has been designed to incite noise complaints.

While it may not contain any subwoofer blowing drops, almost all obnoxious strains of EDM have their roots in Music for the Jilted Generation. Liam Howlett’s ADHD programming means you never have to touch a dance floor to be amply entertained by the songs on display here. These songs are laden with hooks, the keystone synth hooks of “Their Law” and “Voodoo People” are so potent you can almost see the pleasure centers of your brain lighting up on an MRI machine when they hit. “Break & Enter” holds its bleeping hook until 2/3s of the song has elapsed and when it shows up it rains like manna from heaven. Even more interesting is that even two decades after its release, Music for the Jilted Generation is still scary. All of these songs seem to be running on a dead momentum, music for clubs of people dancing because they can’t control their internal motors anymore. “No Good (Start the Dance)” holds a fearsome bass rip that lunges out of the mix like a snarling dog while the sped up vocal strips the confidence out of the words and leaves a trembling anxiety in its place. “The Poison” changes up the pace for an uber cool, fantasy fight scene soundtrack with a big ass drum loop and red alert synths.

Would it be surprising if I told you multiple songs off Music for the Jilted Generation were used in 1995’s wildly inaccurate Angelina Jolie vehicle Hackers? It’s almost too obvious. The Prodigy’s l33thaxx0r jams sound like prime soundtrack material for flickering screens and fingers flying across keyboards and while The Prodigy wouldn’t take electronica global until 1997’s The Fat of the Land, Music for the Jilted Generation represents their peak. It’s worldview and approach to music making might be best summarized by a quote from the aforementioned Hackers: “There is no right and wrong. There's only fun and boring.”



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2015


1721 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Twitter/Instagram: @HolidayKirk



Another huge miss now corrected.

ASnideReturns
July 1st 2015


6092 Comments


Have a spiritual pos.
Nice review!

Tunaboy45
July 1st 2015


8097 Comments


No Good is a classic jam, great review mate

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adr
July 1st 2015


7444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this album , good review too.

Digging: Adversarial - Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of...

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2015


8243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needed a proper review so props for that. Great album.

Digging: Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

zakalwe
July 1st 2015


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fat of the land was '97. I know my 90s.

DoofusWainwright
July 1st 2015


1392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zak's not having it!

MattTD
July 1st 2015


492 Comments


Yeah you might wanna change the date for Fat of the Land, otherwise have a figurative pos

Man I've just realised that it's nearly been a whole year since I saw them at Sonisphere, weird

Tunaboy45
July 1st 2015


8097 Comments


I'd have killed to go there

MattTD
July 1st 2015


492 Comments


Got punched in the back of the head in a pit during Smack My Bitch Up but yh shit was ca$h

Tunaboy45
July 1st 2015


8097 Comments


I have my old history teacher on facebook (not sure why) and he went, judging by the photos it looked pretty insane.

PostMesmeric
July 1st 2015


474 Comments


This is still my favorite record by The Prodigy. Perfect balance of rave energy and rock edge.

trackbytrackreviews
July 1st 2015


2538 Comments


All I can think of is a suicide silence cover when I see the art

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2015


32090 Comments


Ah, very little, if any, of this album has to do with "teenage angst". Both the album title and the music itself references the criminal justice and public order act of 1994 and the impact that had on the rave culture at the time

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/34844/The-Prodigy-More-Music-For-The-Jilted-Generation/

BigPleb
July 2nd 2015


42292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band used to be just incredible.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2015


32090 Comments


Inside art:

http://www.lesedwards.com/imagebank/9/7/6/976358.jpg

trackbytrackreviews
July 2nd 2015


2538 Comments


oh wow that's a really good pic, saved

zakalwe
July 2nd 2015


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Believe it or not there once was a time where the 'youth' were considered a nefarious bunch. For hundreds of years they rebelled, formed movements and stuck their fingers up to the old order. After WW11, the baby boom and a number of factors including the contraceptive pill, explosion of a non conformist attitude, free thinking and using creativity as an expressive tool new movements formed. Within these movements music was the defining factor in whose flag you flew.

Then the well dried up, the internet came along, the youth started whining and expressing themselves with a love of anmie, and trinkets and bullshit. The 'feeling' was lost. The energy gone. TDAG was seen as a masterpiece. The 'youth' were no longer a force, they were morons.

LivingThrowaway
July 2nd 2015


3348 Comments


WW11


Fuck! How long have I been asleep?

DoofusWainwright
July 2nd 2015


1392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'TDAG was seen as a masterpiece...they were morons'



Zak up for 'high treason' in the Court of Sput



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