I like this album. Forget the block-rocking beats of last century. This is the new, more adventurous Chemical Brothers exploring their musical horizons, trying to decide which direction to take. Luckily, for us, many of the songs are good, with relatively few fillers.
Push the Button opens with Galvanize featuring a slick Middle-Eastern melody layered upon 1980's style beats, and old-school rapping by guest vocals Q-Tip. "World, the time has come to... World, the time has come to... push the button. Don't hold back.." Reading into that, what does that even mean, "Push the button"? Middle-eastern melody, old-school rapping, nuclear war? you piece it together. The track ends with a ominous-sounding musical tick-tock leading you to conclude the world might end in all-out jihad.
Galvanize leads right into Boxer, a pretty tame, and almost forgettable track. I had the feeling that this was filler material, but repeated listens may indicate it is not.
Hold Tight London is easily one of the best tracks on the album. It combines tight African drum beats, and instruments; whispered vocals by Anna Lynne; and the occasionally distorted wail of a Metropolitan police siren deep in the background. The tempo is fast, the music suspense-filled, and erotic.
Left Right is an exhortation to the entire (oppressed) world to get up and fight evil because it is all around us; you cannot run, or hide from it. The rap, sung by Anwar Superstar, is set to a funky downbeat melody. It transports you into the eyes of an (expendable) soldier in this war. "There's a war going on outside, and you can't run, you can't hide." ... but to get up, and fight. There is mention of "Bush, and Saddam... Osama Bin Laden, or Adi Amin, Fidel Castro as being on the same team. Their hate only leads to innocent blood streams."
Close Your Eyes is a cute song with lyrics sung by the Magic Numbers. Its upbeat melody of single notes tapped out on xylophone, and rock and roll drum beat, make the song feel like a bedtime story being sung to you. Expect it to be played ad nauseum on the radio.
One track that seems destined to be included in commercials, and various movie soundtracks is Shake Break Bounce with it's exotic Peruvian Andes folk melody set to a block rocking drum beats pulsating like a heartbeat. The sweaty voice of "Shake... Break... Bounce..." convert the track into a tension-ridden, and sensual experience. It'll end up being played in clubs.
Another track that may wind up in commercials is Marvo Ging. It combines a happy holiday melody with dance club beats, and the hypnotic notes of what sounds like an Indian instrument played like a Hawaiian slack steel guitar. The music is hippy, trippy, you might even distain to call it "new-agey".
Surface to Air is a lovely, chill-out track bringing you down from the highs of the album (that is, if you were actually playing the songs in order, and not using the shuffle mode on your iPod shuffle..) It is a good end to signature, and innovative album.
01 Galvanize (featuring Q-Tip)
02 The Boxer (featuring Tim Burgess)
03 Believe (featuring Kele Okereke)
04 Hold Tight London (featuring Anna Lynne)
05 Come Inside
06 The Big Jump
07 Left Right (featuring Anwar Superstar)
08 Close Your Eyes (featuring The Magic Numbers)
09 Shake Break Bounce
10 Marvo Ging
11 Surface To Air
Great Music to Play While: Engaging in office politics.