Album Review: ‘Born in the Echoes’ by the Chemical Brothers

This year the Chemical Brothers brought out their eighth studio album Born in the Echoes, and along with new music from the Prodigy the air took on a strangely 90s haze. Any thoughts that the new music may sound dated has been brushed aside by the album and fantastic live sets at stages, such as Glastonbury this June, that coupled great music with some of the best light shows the world has ever seen.

The single ‘Go’ is certainly a stand out track with a great beat that is matched by a dangerous sounding bassline. The Chemical Brothers returned to rapper Q-Tip who also rapped on one of their more famous tracks, ‘Galvanise’ back in 2005. ‘Go’ therefore can be seen as a reflection on earlier work whilst the Chemical brothers continue to move forward as artists.

‘Under Neon Lights’ is a darker song with a more straight up beat. It is slightly more modern sounding than ‘Go’ and seems to be the direction that the duo are heading. The song is more minimalistic, and uses different synth sounds than heard previously. Vocally there seems to be an eastern influence in the use of prolonged notes. This adds to the tension of the song that is released by the subtle drop in the chorus.

‘Let Us Build a City’ seems to be a nod towards the returning influence of funk in music in recent years and opens with a great bassline. This is matched with another eastern sounding synth sound. This I don’t think is quite pulled off and it jars slightly on the song. The bassline is however good enough to pull the song through alone and overall is an enjoyable listen (though it does not, however, reach the heights of ‘Go’ or its own potential as a result).

Overall the album is very good, though whether it will have the same impact on the world of electronic music as previous albums by the Chemical Brothers seems to be in doubt. It hasn’t broken properly either into the underground or indie scenes, nor has it had a huge impact on the world of pop. Despite this, the album is very strong and stands up well musically against both the Chemical Brothers discography and the albums already released this year. It looks set to be rated as one of the top albums of 2015 without properly taking off as it should.

This article was written by Sam Brunt

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