This album just hit stores last week, but was available digitally worldwide today, so I had to pick up a copy. Since the album's shorter than normal at only 8 tracks, it's available for cheap. You can pick it up in stores for $11.99 USD or, if you'd rather own a digital copy, for $7.99 USD on Amazon <- recommended.
I was excited to hear of this albums release back in late March, but I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. We Are The Night just didn't do it for me, and I really had no reason to grab Brotherhood. Further is different, though - it's essentially a "soundtrack" for accompanying videos created by Adam Smith and Marcus Lyal. I figured the album would have more of a "theatrical" sound to it, and boy was I right.
At first glance this album is definitely a change for Tom & Ed, a welcomed one to me. The album features no vocal collaborations whatsoever; all of the vocals were provided by Tom Rowlands, with the exception of some vocals courtesy of Stephanie Dosen. The synths also changed, going back to the experimental feel they had in their first few albums, a much better sound in my opinion. Now let's go over each track individually.
Right off the bat, this album shows why The Chemical Brothers became world famous, their unique sound. A combination of a stuttering dial-tone-like synth offers a glimpse of machinery that, when combined with some higher-quality noises, produces a mind-blowing psychedelic sound. It's hard to explain, you'll just have to check out for yourself. I'm going to give this one an 8/10, because I wasn't too fond of the ending.
This happens to be my favorite piece from the album. The intro starts off where Snow ended, but then climbs and climbs like a rocket shooting into space. Eventually, the noise settles and out comes a steady beat. The track changes feel several times over it's massive 12-minute timeline, each of which carrying its own color and texture. I have to give this one a 10/10.
The Chemical Brothers - Escape Velocity [Amazon]
I feel this track has the most theatrical feel of any other on this album. To be honest, I wish I had the accompanying DVD to review, simply because of how beautiful this song is. The smooth "chaos" of the beginning quickly settles into a filter-filled backbeat. With it comes some holy-sound vocals, with some lyrics I wish I could comprehend. It does become a little chaotic, however, which takes away from the beauty introduced in the beginning. 8/10.
The Chemical Brothers - Another World [Amazon]
This track is radically different than the others. It does, however, quench my thirst for more energy. Today, I did not need that. Consider the review for this track to be biased, because I am feeling extremely mellow today. I found Dissolve to be a little noisy and all over the place. The beginning, like the other tracks so far, was pretty extraordinary. Some spots in the middle were calm, but overall I thought this track was kind of a mess. For these reasons, I'll give it a 5/10, but you can judge for yourself.
The Chemical Brothers - Dissolve [Amazon]
This track is so goddamn weird, honestly. I wasn't a big fan of the intro, and found the vocals to be just a little on the annoying side. At the halfway mark, however, things changed for the better. The synths sounded great, and everything developed quite beautifully. The ending is even better, giving one of the best-sounding beats I've heard this year. 7.5/10, just because of the first half.
A continuation of the catchy riff from the ending of Horse Power, Swoon immediately got my attention. The following riff was full of portamento and full of awesome. The track kept climbing, and kept getting better, and finally settled somewhere comfortable. I found this track to be a perfect length, perfect balance of good and evil, and a perfect way to keep me interested. 9.5/10.
The Chemical Brothers - Swoon [Amazon]
I have no idea what this title means, and if you do, please share that information with us in the comments. I liked the intro, and I liked the cute-sounding vocals that followed. Like it's predecessor, I found this track had a pretty great balance. It was catchy, light-hearted, and essentially cleaned my mental slate, preparing me for the track that would follow. 9/10
Wonders Of The Deep
If I had to choose one track with the most meaning, I would choose this one. It's chock full of powerful bursts of spirit. It lets this album (and accompanying video) have a fantastic ending, grouping up all of the beauty that The Chemical Brothers has to offer, and shipping it off in a single, 5-minute song. I was a huge fan of this track, and it went just perfect with my mood. For these reasons, it earns a 9.5/10
The Chemical Brothers - Wonders Of The Deep [Amazon]
So how would I wrap this all up? Go out and buy this album. If you want it right now, head on over here. You can always just pick up a few mp3s, but I would totally recommend just getting the whole damn thing. Each track compliments the others, and they even seamlessly roll into one another. But hey, it's your call.
As far as a rating goes, I'll have to throw this bad boy a 9/10.
So that about does it for my review of Further. As always (especially with reviews), drop a comment with your thoughts of this album, or any its tracks. And, if necessary, tell me what I did right, and what I did wrong.