981 - Chemical Brothers 'Surrender' (1999)

My Rating: 2.09 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: X
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): 1/32

Favourite Tracks: Music:Response, Out Of Control
Least-Favourite Tracks: Hey Boy Hey Girl, Under The Influence

This album kicks off with a bang - the opening track Music:Response has a thundering bassline with enough sudden stops, dramatic changes & 70s computer game bleeps to keep me interested. After such a promising start though the quality tends to slide & as this record progressed I was surprised to find myself getting increasingly bored. Part of the problem of course is that this album was not designed for people to sit down & listen to - it was designed specifically for dancing. The segued tracks, repetitive synth sequences & single-line vocal chants may work fine when you're jiggling around in a club, but it's all a bit incongruous for me sitting here on a sofa in suburbia. The next problem is that dance music as a genre moves along pretty quickly so although this was only released in 1999 it already sounds incredibly dated. There's a disparate mix of styles - from big beat & house to tracks with a distinctly indie/alt-rock flavour. The fact that a number of the songs use big name guest vocalists (like Noel Gallagher, New Order's Bernard Sumner, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, etc) just adds to the diversity & makes it sound even more like some kind of compilation album.

I've been racking my brains trying to figure out why I don't like this more - I normally enjoy stuff with analogue synths & this has plenty of vintage squidgy sounds but it simply doesn't work for me. It has a bit of a 'going-through-the-motions' feel, as if they couldn't really be bothered to try too hard anymore. Just select preset #12, stick on the sequencer & go and make a cuppa while it's recording another hit.


Post a Comment