Chemical Brothers, 'Further' (Freestyle Dust/Astralwerks)

6
Further
Critical Mass
Label: Freestyle Dust/Astralwerks

by Charles Aaron

It's not dismissive to say the Chems' last essential tracks were tribal-trance pounder "It Began in Afrika" and majestic synth geyser "Star Guitar" (from 2002's Come With Us). The nu-rave generation subsequently snorted traces of their style, and the duo settled into a routine of zeitgeisty pop ephemera and functional dance-floor bustle. Their seventh studio album falls in the latter category -- steadfastly chirping crescendos, whinnying breakbeat stampedes, and the odd evocative vocal. Opener "Snow" and closer "Wonders of the Deep" threaten to swell into Spiritualized rave epics, then just fade gently.

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