The Chemical Brothers, "Further"

Album Review

The Chemical Brothers make giant gut-wallops of electronic sound that carry best in an arena or open field in England. But the visual cacophony is as essential to the live Chems experience as the aural one-scrambles of psychedelic delight that have been created by designers Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall since the band's live debut in 1994. For the duo's seventh studio album, "Further," Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons lead with the pictures, developing each of the set's eight tracks with a mini-movie in mind. The result is a less song-based effort than previous works-no distinctive collaborators like Q-Tip or Beth Orton-that nonetheless tells a story. Yes, that's an equine braying heard on the eight-cylinder "Horse Power," a longhaired techno-hippie riff on "Dissolve" and a slightly dewy, almost Air-like French-ness on first single "Swoon." There's nothing here that even the Chems themselves haven't done before, but that doesn't make the sensory thrills any less giddy.


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