The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers

Surrender

Astralwerks

Stop whatever you are doing. Buy this CD right now. Steal it if you have to.

Surrender , the latest release from the Chemical Brothers, could be mistaken for an excellent compilation or a taping of a well-crafted radio program. (It reminds me of 99.1 WHFS’s lamented Mutant Dance Party, from back home in Maryland). Each song seems to have been crafted independently of any other with no “theme” or leitmotif; no two tracks sound or even feel the same. However, Surrender doesn’t come across as schizophrenic or misguided.

Most of the tracks are “instrumentals.” “Hey Boy Hey Girl,” with its manic synth line, will probably stick in your head for days, while the “chimes” and epic drums of “The Sunshine Underground” will make you feel as though you were flying. “Got Glint?,” with its bassline reminiscent of “Thriller,” will makes you expect to turn around and see Michael Jackson doing the “Thriller” dance in your living room.

As good as those compositions are, Surrender ‘s true strength lies its vocal tracks. “Out of Control” could very well be a New Order remix, with Bernard Sumner contributing guitars and vocals. The Bjorkian “Asleep From Day” features what sounds like a kiddie xylophone complementing the dulcet lullaby-like cooing of the mourning dove, Hope Sandoval. My favorite track, “Let Forever Be,” has Beatle-esque drums deftly weaving with Noel Gallagher’s vocals (sounding like Chris Cornell in Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love days). The uncredited vocals on “Under the Influence” sound suspiciously like Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, who shares songwriting credits on “Music:Response.”

You would be hard-pressed to find any one, in any genre, who can write such rich, diverse, and cohesieve material as found on Surrender . While everyone may not love this CD, you’ll find your collection much improved by it.

Astralwerks, 104 West 29th Street New York, NY 10001

Astralwerks, 104 W. 29th St., New York, NY 10001; http://www.astralwerks.com

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