The Chemical Brothers - Born in the Echoes - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Chemical Brothers - Born in the Echoes

by Brian Lange. Rating:6 Release Date:2015-07-24

Most of us are no strangers to The Chemical Brothers, who first made their voice heard in the emerging big beat and electronic genre of the early 90s. Exit Planet Dust, the duo’s first record, was released in 1995. Twenty years and eight records later comes 2015’s Born in the Echoes. The Chemical Brothers have made some enormous shoes to fill for themselves and the public’s level of expectation is, as it should be, considerably high. 

What originally sounds like a disco departure from their signature sound, something that can be likened to Daft Punk’s 'Get Lucky', actually reverts back to their Dig Your Own Hole and Surrender days. However, this album fails to demonstrate either unity or harmony. While recent albums seemed to focus on an over-produced sound, Echoes is more about playing, of experimenting with dissonant sounds that blend together in kind of a flat way. 

The record doesn’t shine, doesn’t stand out, doesn’t get past the initial feeling of ‘new Chemical music’ and what results is, disappointingly forgettable. There don’t even seem to be many ‘single worthy’ tracks. You can’t deny that The Chemical Brothers have never failed at their proclivity for finding a great loop, but at a certain point you strive for that extra mile.

There are many who believe it is unfair to compare artists’ work to other artists’ work, or even an artists’ own work to their old work, but I think that’s fair. There are a handful of bands that have made a radical departure from the sound that put them on the map.

Some artists make the conscious decision to keep their original sound, perhaps because of the expectations of the fans. Fans get disgruntled and move on. Some artists just lose their mojo and peak out at a certain point. Some artists will just continue to make whatever music they want until they no longer can. 

Born in the Echoes is probably the most disappointing Chemical Brothers record released, but I certainly hope it is not their last. 

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