Release Date: 06.22.99
Record label: astralwerks / skint
All Ears : Show the White Flag
by: tom reiter
The Brothers that brought big beat music to the mainstream with their breakthrough hit "Block Rockin' Beats" are back with the long anticipated release of Surrender, which is their most recent 'original' album since Dig Your Own Hole. They did have a mix session inbetween, called Brothers Gonna Work It Out.
Surrender sticks within the the big beat genre, but brings it to another level. It has a darker, heavier feel to it. It takes the listener to a new frontier in music, as well as emotions. The disk starts off upbeat with the first couple tracks, "music: response" and "under the influence." Track one flows seamlessly into track two, and two into three.. An interesting thing is that "music: response" uses a sample from Nicole's "Make It Hot," but Rowlands and Simmons modify so much you can't pick it out. The first few tracks have almost a techno-ish feel, with an English influence that can be noted by the vocals and music style on "out of control."
The middle of the cd slows it down a bit and the big beat shines through, not the big beat like that of Fatboy Slim, but more of a trip hop big beat. The sixth track, "the sunshine underground," which is over eight minutes long, starts off extremely laid back, almost like ambient, but builds nicely to an upbeat dance song. "alseep from day" is mostly acoustical, and never really has a bass beat.
"got glint ?" starts to pick up a bit with a less than 120bpm driving beat. It's a pretty simple song...not extremely interesting. But that all changes with the first release "hey boy hey girl." This a song you can sit and listen to, or get up and dance to when you're good and drunk (or sober - whatever you like better). As early in the cd, it pretty much flows into the next track, "surrender." Then, as they have on previous releases, the Chemical Brothers close with a quieter, more laid back, vocal song, "dream on."
As if anything less was expected, the Brothers have again brought forth an exceptional album, that is truly original and creative. It is something definitely worth getting. It keeps the listener interested through the whole cd by changing tempos and feels, and by the time you're done with it, you feel like you just read a really good story book.