The veteran electronic duo delivers dancefloor catharsis and resilient introspect on their ninth LP
Give it up for the Chemical Brothers. Genres and trends come and go, festival gods rise and fall. Yet Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons stay eternally true to their block rocking vision. The duo has now outlasted two stupidly-named marketing gimmicks designed to sell dance music to normals: electronica (which they sort of helped invent in the Nineties) and EDM (which they’ve admirably ignored throughout the last decade). Their last album, 2016’s Born in the Echoes, stuck with a formula that’s worked for them for a quarter century: dancefloor bangers plus psychedelia plus big-name cameos (in this case Q-Tip, Beck and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark). Their ninth LP clears out the guest stars to go in a ravier, heavier direction, while also suggesting a stock-taking introspect and angst worthy of their august status and our precarious times.
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