CD Review: Chemical Brothers, Further

Ever danceable, the Chemical Brothers continue to sound as if they are viscously wailing away at their instruments, as synthetic as said instruments may actually be. The initial three tracks use more shrill distortion than thundering beats, which truly tests the listener’s ability to “get into” the rhythms — or lack thereof. In fact, opener “Snow” sounds almost purely like feedback accompanied by a lone female voice. But all is forgiven by the time we reach “Dissolve” which is pleasantly familiar to the Chemical Brothers’ style — live drum sounds mainly helping this — and “Horse Power,” a track of repetitive but infectious electronica.

The Chemical Brothers have promised film companions for all eight of their new tracks, and so one can understand how these songs are less geared for being released as a singles, but are rather meant to be experienced as one big piece of art. All of the tracks overlap each other, and the mixing is rather seamless. Fifty-two minutes of continuous sound or one big journey, as some may hear it, that rises and falls like the action of a motion picture. Fancy that . . . one might wonder if the film is a companion to this soundtrack, or is this album a companion for the film? Having not seen the film I can only attest that this is a decent, albeit sometimes challenging and a pinch unmemorable piece by this very well established U.K. based duo.

— William O’Donnell