The Chemical Brothers | Further

Astralwerks (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 7, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

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Approximately halfway through "Escape Velocity," a 12-minute epic from their seventh studio disc, the Chemical Brothers unfurl what sounds an awful lot like a chopped-up version of the indelible synth riff from the Who's "Baba O'Riley." Even minus the context of that riff, you can appreciate the way it lightens the thudding groove in "Escape Velocity" with a bit of interstellar whimsy — what sounded cool to Pete Townshend in 1971 (and to the folks at CSI: NY a few years ago) still sounds cool today. But given the Brothers' new-found DJ-emeritus status, it's hard not to hear the dusty Who sample as an acknowledgment that these formerly block-rocking beatmakers have moved into their predictably satisfying heritage-act phase. (Another sign: the distinctly Bonham-flavored way the drums rev to life in "Dissolve.") That's no dis — or at least, it's not meant to be. After all, plenty of dance artists never figure out how to keep making meaningful music once the cutting edge begins cutting elsewhere. On the cameo-less Further, the Chems do it by emphasizing the squishy center of their digital psychedelia, most gratifyingly in "Another World," a gorgeous "Star Guitar" rewrite straight out of swinging suburbia. There's no risk here, but there's plenty that's right.

  Topics: CD Reviews , The Chemical Brothers, Chemical Brothers, Baba O’Riley
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