Underworld, ‘Barking’ (Cooking Vinyl/Om)
The problem with the last two albums from these English rave vets wasn’t the absence of DJ/producer Darren Emerson. It was that the surviving duo seemed more intent on proving that Emerson didn’t take all the good beats with him. But here, with production help from High Contrast, Dubfire, and Paul Van Dyk, Underworld is freed up to focus on crafting memorable tunes that hark back to their electronica heyday, as well as more personal, coherent lyrics. Earnest emotions surprisingly suit these dance-floor surrealists.