The Chemical Brothers: Further

Artist: The Chemical Brothers

Title: Further
Release date: June 22
Label: Astralwerks

I knew it would happen sooner with this electronic music genre. I figured that if I listened to enough of it, I would find something that I liked (and I'm not counting LCD Soundsystem because that's more a rock record than an electronic one).

My friend Ben keeps pushing this stuff on me and I keep disappointing him with my disinterest in most of it. But he finally may have struck gold with the new Chemical Brothers record.  

I know these guys have been around forever and are considered both a commercial and critical success, but I couldn't tell you the name of a single song of theirs.

The thing I like most about Further, as opposed to most of the other electronic records I've heard this year, is that it sounds like it constructed by guys with an ear for songcraft. In other words, it seems less random than much of what I've heard in the genre. Now, perhaps that's more a statement on their accessibility -- maybe C.B. are the "pop" electronic band -- than it is about their creativity or willingness to take chances. Regardless, this is a genre I don't have much use for, but Chemical Brothers have created a record I don't mind listening to. 
Best song: "Escape Velocity," with an underlying synth line that sounds more than a little like that in The Who's "Baba O'Riley." Maybe it's even a sample of it. I can't tell.
Rotation: Medium
Deja vu: A trip to the future
I'd rather listen to: "Baba O'Riley"
Grade: B+

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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