For nearly a decade, The Chemical Brothers have been riding the goodwill garnered from their early work. On their latest album, Further, they come close to earning the hype by cutting back on the frills, but ultimately fall short.
The album is full of swells and is very melodic with no breaks between tracks. There is a constant feeling that The Chemical Brothers are building up to something grand. The transitions and set ups are very well done; however, these require a follow through and that's where Further fails.
Too often the band reaches the brink and pulls up, preferring to remain politely in the upper atmosphere instead of launching themselves into orbit. Further requires that its listeners be very patient but doesn't often reward them for it. "Exit Velocity" remains rather tame through out its entire 12 minutes. On "Horse Power" they dare to get aggressive, but it's ruined by the gimmicky horse whinny sound effects and dull repetition.
Restraint in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but after 35 minutes of anticlimax, it's easy to get bored. "Swoon" is the first track to sound remotely danceable and "K+B+D" is clever and unique, but it's too little too late.
Expectations are always high — maybe too high — for The Chemical Brothers and they continue to fail in reaching them. Maybe it's time to lower the expectations for this duo.
Further is available now on Parlophone Records. The special edition of the record comes with eight short films specially made for each song.