Underworld, 'Oblivion With Bells' (Side One)

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Oblivion With Bells
Critical Mass
Label: Side One

by Michaelangelo Matos

If 2002's A Hundred Days Off proved that Underworld's Karl Hyde and Rick Smith could scale sonic skyscrapers without former bandmate and DJ Darren Emerson, its follow-up is where they relax -- literally. Seven of Oblivion with Bells' 11 cuts feature beats that lope below cooing guitar and/or keyboards, or are submerged into the muted synth-pulse. Much better are the increasingly rare harder, faster numbers like "Crocodile" and "Beautiful Burnout," where the duo approach the linear excitement of their earlier work.

More on Underworld on SPIN: Underworld's Karl Hyde Details 'Oblivion'

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