The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night
Excerpts from We Are The Night
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Okay, so I’ve been a fan of The Chemical Brothers since their fabulous release back in the 90’s, “Dig Your Own Hole”.  So it’s no surprise that when I was in a local CD store and saw this release, I went ahead and picked it up.  I hate to say that I’m a bit disappointed.  Oh, it’s okay and all, there are some good tracks on it, but there’s also some really silly stuff, particularly “The Salmon Dance”. 

 

I’ve listened to this a few times now, and it seems to be trying to incorporate several of the recent movements in dance, particularly the rise of the electro while at the same time trying to infuse their own sound that is a hold over from the big beat era of the late 90’s. 

I was not surprised to find mixed reviews on-line.  Here’s what others have had to say about “We Are The Night”:

 

Popmatters.Com

 

We Are the Night is as good an album as the Chemical Brothers have recorded since Surrender, hearkening back to their roots while also incorporating contemporary sounds to gratifying effect. The Chems got their start as sonic magpies, borrowing and stealing from their favorite groups to create something that sounded entirely new, if not wholly unfamiliar. (The Beatles meet Public Enemy! Meat Beat Manifest jams with Bob Dylan!) It’s been a few years since they were at the top of the food chain, and they sound just a little bit hungry, working over a wide range of contemporary influences without once seeming obsequious or awkward—looking forward instead of back.

 

 Pitchfork Media

 

. . . .come on, not now. Not after Fatboy Slim's Palookaville and the Prodigy's Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned and Orbital's The Blue Album and Daft Punk's Human After All and the last two Moby records. Just because Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons are falling off the cliff a few years later than most of the other once-great hopes of 90s dance music doesn't make the plummet any less frustrating or embarrassing. Not even the low points on Push the Button suggested they were about to tank this hard.

 

On We Are the Night, the Chemical Brothers have switched from integrators to imitators: Where 1999's Surrender opened with "Music: Response", expertly streamlining the cutting-edge electro-funk of early Timbaland, "Do It Again" sounds like a public domain version of a FutureSex/LoveSounds beat, with perky synths and an aloof radio-dance churn gutlessly approximating the elements that make those tracks work. Guest singer Ali Love turns in a mediocre Timberlake impression-- although even JT himself couldn't pull off a dippy couplet like "got a brain like bubblegum/ Blowing up my cranium."

 

Mansized.com

 

As grand as the Dig Your Own Hole days were, it would have been career suicide for the Chems to simply rinse and repeat. They needed to immerse themselves in new sounds, new colours and keep this electronic train moving forward. And while they struggled to do so on Push the Button, We Are the Night sees them pulling it off with relative ease and panache.

 

There’s also something pretty sinister about the album. At times it sounds like the entire human race has been wiped out by robots, with cuts such as the electro zapping title track and future single ‘All Rights Reversed’ bringing to mind a Cylon rave.