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Stuck in Their Own Hole

The Chemical Brothers - Come With Us
2 1/2 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 5, 2002

Chemical Brothers

By Tony Bonyata

It seemed like they were onto something in '97 with Dig Your Own Hole, an album which brought electronica music to the masses from the psychedelic Ecstasy-laced rave parties. But on The Chemical Brothers'seventh studio album, Come With Us, they sound like they're stuck in somewhat of a techno rut.
The English duo that makes up The Chemical Brothers, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, still infuse gobs of tweeks, bleeps, sampled vocals and swirling synths to the dance floor on Come With Us, but after a couple of spins you may find yourself searching the liner notes for the expiration date on this product.
Let's make no mistake, though, that fans of the Bros.'all night rave beats are going to be pleased with this effort. The hypnotic dance grooves still abound, warming Kraftwerkian melodies, as on "Star Guitar," melt through the icy electronica, and the beats, on songs like "It Began In Afrika," are fast and furious. The additional vocal talents of ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft on the skittish number "The Test" and Beth Orton's sensual delivery on "The State We're In" also helps to broaden the package.
But what they may soon realize as they dance themselves back to reality, is that this once driving force behind the third wave of electronic music doesn't really have much new to say. It seems that as newer contenders emerge in this synthetic genre, such as Moby and Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers are fast becoming bit players in their own game.
They ask us to, 'come with them' on this album, but, oddly enough, it appears that they're not budging from the hole they dug years ago.

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