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July 23, 2024

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The Chemical Brothers
Singles 93 -- 03 (Virgin Records)

By: Cam Lindsay

Dance music's never been the same since The Chemical Brothers first recorded "Song To The Siren" ten years ago. They revolutionized a genre that was otherwise music for DJs and clubbers and made it accessible for any ordinary punter who didn't know the difference between Aphex Twin and the Barbie Twins. Turning house into something a little more hip-hop, a lot more rock and man, ever so psychedelic, the duo of Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands (formerly known as The Dust Brothers) became overnight sensations when their debut album, Exit Planet Dust, landed. Singles 93 -- 03 is a testament of all of their success and more importantly, those classic tunes that filled and still fill dance floors all over the world. Containing most of their singles, it's a collection that should be a marvel to put on and let loose to, but there are some problems. Firstly, new songs "Get Yourself High" and "The Golden Path", strong indications of their next direction, aren't the juicy treats most mouths watered for. The former is overtly influenced by hip-hop and sounds a little watered down without any shocks. The latter, a collaboration with The Flaming Lips should have been better than their work with Mercury Rev, but sadly, it's far from it. The decision to make Wayne Coyne preach like an old man instead of sing with his magically rusty, helium-filled voice, is a major let down. These aren't even worthy of second single status from their upcoming full-length. Secondly, The Chems best tracks aren't necessarily their singles. Take the day-glo morning come down of "One Too Many Mornings" from the first album, the rollercoaster ride that is "Piku" from their second, or any of their collaborations with the dove-like vocals of Beth Orton. Finally, what about the excellent singles"Life Is Sweet", featuring The Charlatans' Tim Burgess and their only non-album single, the mighty "Loops Of Fury" (leaving out the less than stellar "It Came From Afrika" was actually quite a smart move)? You can't get too mad at the boys though, they are responsible for "The Private Psychedelic Reel", probably the best single ever to reach the nine-minute mark, and "Hey Boy, Hey Girl", a tune so addictive it should be listed as a Class A drug. Yes, a "best of " avoiding the focus on "singles" would have been thoroughly more enjoyable, but this is a must for all of their casual fans.
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