This is an album to listen to when you need to produce words quickly. I would not normally recommend a chemical brothers album to work to, but this album is an exception. The beats per minute get me working like a metronome. It was also nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album Grammy in 2011.
When I first bought this album on vinyl, I laid out cushions in the middle of my lounge room for the all important first listen. I got myself myself a cup of tea, a good book, and plugged the headphones in so I wouldn’t disturb my lady friend who was writing an essay in the next room. She is easily influenced by music and usually only plays very chilled kind of stuff when writing. The music played and I was loving this little relaxation treat even though I had to keep turning the sides, 2 discs and sides a,b,c, and d with a lot of newer vinyl releases like this one. As I was changing records for side C she came in and said, “You do realise that those headphones don’t work and I can hear everything.” Luckily I had been lying between the speakers so had been enjoying the full blast of the tunes oblivious to this fact. Without the headphones it sounded even better, and it’s steady beats were perfect for her to work to as well.
I can put my hand up and say that this review may well be influenced by my abiding love of the Chemical Brothers. However, I would probably not want to work to most of their albums. Perhaps not having any ‘break out singles’ on this album, that enables it to work on you differently to the rest of their output.
The album starts slowly with Snow, then kicks in with Escape Velocity which really gets the heart racing. My fingers hit the keyboard at much greater speed when I listen to this album than with any other artist. Look at me I’m gushing like a virgin. With trademark crescendos, peaks and troughs the Chemical Brothers deliver again. Yeah, I like it.
Yes some, and the odd horse sample or two. None of the lyrics are powerful enough to put you off your stride, just enjoy the ride.
Upbeat, with fast beats. Samples are used throughout and they love using the whole sonic palate. Some of the samples may appear abrasive at first listen, but all of the songs can be taken as thematic pieces.
Good to work to
A great album to lift the heart rate. It’s study motifs aren’t too jerky, so if you’re feeling tired this is a great album to put on to lift the tempo. You might not think that you can write to the Chemical Brothers, but all I can say is if you’re in a hurry and need to deliver the goods, it’s the album.
I don’t really listen to enough dance styled music to really know what it sounds like, but if it were a movie it might be a cinematic movie soundtrack. It is an altogether even album, that did not produce the hits of the earlier albums. If you like the big Chemical Brothers hits you might find this album somewhat of a comedown.
Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons are the Chemical Brothers. They have been making groundbreaking electronic dance music since 1989. They have had an incredible amount of hits and collaborations, but most of them more suited to the dance floor than the writing room, from Block’ rocking beats’, ‘Out of control,’ ‘Hey Boy,’ and countless others.
I can think of nothing of a similar nature that you will be able to work to. It has more energy than other Krautrock albums I discuss like Kraftwerk, or Lemon Jelly. If you really like the sound of this I can recommend several other of their seminal albums like Surrender, but don’t think they are going to be the same aid to writing.
Where Can I buy it, and in what formats
You can buy this any which way you want. I would recommend buying the vinyl.
This album has got me to work on a fair few deadlines where I needed to pump out the words. I would have a listen first if you don’t usually like electronic music, but listen to a full song or two before making your mind up as it may grow on you.