It’s an Underworld album. You know what these are like.
Disconnected, shimmering vocals over electronic landscapes and impulsive rhythms. A late night bullet train journey to Osaka. The same dead empty words. A handful of pounding, heart in your throat moments, a gentle slow decline as the album slowly bleeps away.
Shorn to a duo, the seventh Underworld album (including the two, godawful late 80’s funk-house efforts) is just another Underworld album. There’s no radical shifts in style here. For the first time, instead of trying new things, its just a bunch of Underworld songs. It’s almost predictable that the first couple of songs are relentless, gorgeous beasts that pound along like hunted animals and seem to last for years, yet just aren’t long enough. It’s almost predictable that the penultimate song is a slow, bluesy riff over a muted beat, and lasts about two minutes. They pulled the exact same trick a couple of albums ago.
Trouble is, a couple of albums ago, we hadn’t heard it all before. And now we have. This is an old dog resolutely failing to learn new tricks.
That’s not to say that this isn’t an album you should own. There’s four songs, the opening double punch of “MoMove” and “Two Months Off”, the closing “Luetin” and “DinosaurAdventure3D” prove that Underworld songs can be as brilliant as their titles. The trouble is that four songs do not a great album make. And that means there’s six other songs of fluff on here that fail to reach the heights of glory all great music should.
This then, is not great. It’s just another Underworld album. Underworld can make great albums. But not this time. We’ve heard it all before.
6Mark Reed's Score