30 June 2013

30th June - The Prodigy's The Fat of the Land

Artist – Album: The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land
Released:  30th June 1997

Sounds Like: Twisted firestarter!

It’s the last day of Glastonbury and there’s no doubt that those lucky sods who went this year have seen some extraordinary things. Catching up with it all on BBC has been exhilarating and, I have to say, just reading up on Chic’s performance on the Guardian website (here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/jun/29/chic-glastonbury-2013-review ) has got me unhealthily giddy of a Sunday morning.

Probably not helping me to calm down is today’s album, The Prodigy’s 1997 smash The Fat of the Land. Its breakneck big beat immediately grabs you by the cojones, forces you on to your feet and demands that you pogo and mosh out in equal measure as though you’re off your head on pills. Two of the albums colossal hits, ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ and ‘Breathe’, kick off proceedings, with the third (and biggest, and most furious), ‘Firestarter’, lying in wait further down the pecking order to pounce on any unsuspecting victims that have made it that far unscathed. That trio’s strength lies in their testosterone fuelled in-your-face-ness, with unrelenting hip hop beats and shouty nonsensical choruses pelted at your by the frightening duo of Liam Howlett and Keith Flint.

Elsewhere, however, the album is not without its subtleties. Narayan, featuring Crispian Mills – Kula Shaker lead singer, Indian music aficionado and a dude that could only have been famous in the joyous Britpop era – is psychedelic and cool, whilst closer ‘Fuel My Fire’, a cover of the L7 original, shifts the mood to grunge and metal. The highlight though, is the funky hip hop of ‘Diesel Power’, featuring Kool Keith (rap’s very own Niles Rodgers), which hits the sweet spot between the confrontational electronica of those initial singles and the longevity and refinement of the album tracks. It’s a pearl.

Right, so I’m pumped. Who’s up for a hedonistic Sunday (only mildly so, there is work tomorrow after all...)??

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Smack My Bitch Up – 5:42
2.       Breathe – 5:35
3.       Diesel Power – 4:17
4.       Funky Shit – 5:16
5.       Serial Thrilla – 5:11
6.       Mindfields – 5:40
7.       Narayan – 9:05
8.       Firestarter – 4:40
9.       Climbatize – 6:38
10.   Fuel My Fire – 4:19

Listen to ‘Diesel Power’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSygqiOyD9M

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