Ouhmmmm Beya-deh. Ahhhhhh Yeah!

Weekly Question 4! Why is your favorite Chems album your favorite?

Started by WhiteNoise, Sep 06, 2016, 08:07

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Looking for a quick paragraph! There's a bit of negativity in Week 3 with having to justify why "great album X" scored so low... so let's hear why your #1 (or #2 or #3 or #4) Chems album is your favorite. Why does it deserve such a high ranking from you? Why should anyone else who ranked it low reconsider?

Will post to defend EPD and WATN soon.
Never for money, always for love.

Come With Us.

It's mostly to do with my own memories. It was the first album I was waiting for. Surrender had already come out when I really got into them and I had heard Star Guitar (and Base 6) and It Began In Africa and was so eager to have the full album in my possession.
Every track has it's own memory attached to it. From staying up on NYE to listen to Star Guitar being played at The Social, to playing Colin McRae Rally with Denmark blasting in the background, to trying to learn the guitar part in Hoops. It's all golden for me.

It's also the first album where I really started to pay attention to their use of vocals. Not the singing in Hoops, The Test and The State Were In, but rather the vocal stabs that are used in tracks like Come With Us and Galaxy Bounce. It's the first time I think they had done this with sounds that aren't just 'huh's and 'yeah's. They started being (even) more creative with how they sourced their samples. It was small fragments of the ends of words, more percussive, and definitely less obvious.
I also think, having only 10 tracks instead of 11, and most of them being considerably shorter than tracks on albums before, they were able to be a lot more concise with the album and (although you could argue it was simply shorter) I think this worked for them after 3 pretty long albums.

Finally, the artwork is up there with Surrender in terms of how it all tied in with the singles. I love the tribal ring patterns on The Test and IBIA and the silhouetted people exploring the tunnel. That's what the album felt like for me, it was a tunnel of new sounds and a new chemical adventure that I was able to fully explore myself, right from the beginning.

And that's why.
Last Edit: Sep 06, 2016, 16:03 by Enjoyed

I put Come With Us and Further at the top of my list, but I'm afraid I can't really give a very good reason.
I started listening to the Chemical Bros between Further and Hanna, and with every album I listened to, I was equally blown away. It was like I was entering a whole new world every time I played the opening track of an album for the first time. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I was 12/13 at the time and was really only listening to shit like Human After All. To my still-developing midget brain, every Chemical song sounded like a prog epic, even stuff that I don't listen to at all nowadays, like Come Inside. So at the time, no single album stood out as a definitive best. After all these years a lot of songs have lost their sheen, but I still find it hard to pick any album over another, perhaps only because of sentiment. So I picked them the only way I could, by going with whatever album seemed to have the most songs I still like and listen to fairly often. CWU and Further pretty much tied for that position, but I put CWU ahead just cause it's a little bit easier to listen to. Even the parts I don't really like that much are still funky enough that I listen to em anyway, whereas Further can get a bit grating.

I'll leave the glory of defending EPD and WATN to you, but know that I've got your back! ;D
The devil is in the details

Exit Planet Dust

Although the House or "Dance" genre had incurred more success between 1988 and 1995 than anyone could have envisaged, dance music wasn't generally considered an album genre.  But there were some artists who were starting to change that (beyond the commercial stuff like Black Box), almost as a defiant "Fuck You" to the music establishment.  Primal Scream and Orbital made their marks in 1991, and then came Underworld's Dubno in '94. (Yes there was The Prodigy too, but for me, they didn't make a good album until 1997)

But by 1995, those of us who had bought in to the more serious stuff wanted a follow up to Dubno.  But It didn't have to be from Underworld.  And lo, along came Leftfield and The Chems.  Perhaps inspired by the above mentioned artists, these two acts sought to up the ante.  Leftism seemed to be setting a new benchmark in production, whilst Exit brought a unique mix of fat beats without the rapping, and indie melody without the depression. This album basically invented Big Beat.

The feeling of freshness still hits me every time I put it on. New Order had made me an indie-dance fan before "indie-dance" even existed , but The Chems then added hip hop, folk, and their own quirkiness to make something unique. Exit has variation in it too; every track is good for it's own reason; nothing is skipped. For me, every Chems album since Exit has been a test (no pun intended): Will this hit me like the first one did? Other Chems albums may be technically better, but this was the one that set the Chemical standard. It's the template. It feels like an open road tempting you into the future (whilst using little bits of the past).

[As a post-script, it wasn't until years later that I realised how much of Exit was made up of samples. But still, kudos to the Brothers for making those samples work. One Too Many Mornings is perhaps the most obvious example;  it wouldn't have existed at all without these two tracks by Swallow. I still love it though.]


Quote from: Skyscraper on Sep 06, 2016, 18:52

(Yes there was The Prodigy too, but for me, they didn't make a good album until 1997)

WHAT???!!! I understand you living The Fat of the Land more but Come on Music for the Jilted Generation is an incredible album. It's The Prodigys Magnum Opus

Love your love for EPD

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