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Dance - Released January 1, 1997 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Taking the swirling eclecticism of their post-techno debut, Exit Planet Dust, to the extreme, the Chemical Brothers blow all stylistic boundaries down with their second album, Dig Your Own Hole. Bigger, bolder, and more adventurous than Exit Planet Dust, Dig Your Own Hole opens with the slamming cacophony of "Block Rockin' Beats," where hip-hop meets hardcore techno, complete with a Schoolly D sample and an elastic bass riff. Everything is going on at once in "Block Rockin' Beats," and it sets the pace for the rest of the record, where songs and styles blur into a continuous kaleidoscope of sound. It rocks hard enough for the pop audience, but it doesn't compromise either the Chemicals' sound or the adventurous, futuristic spirit of electronica -- even "Setting Sun," with its sly homages to the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Noel Gallagher's twisting, catchy melody, doesn't sound like retro psychedelia; it sounds vibrant, unexpected, and utterly contemporary. There are no distinctions between different styles, and the Chemicals sound as if they're having fun, building Dig Your Own Hole from fragments of the past, distorting the rhythms and samples, and pushing it forward with an intoxicating rush of synthesizers, electronics, and layered drum machines. The Chemical Brothers might not push forward into self-consciously arty territories like some of their electronic peers, but they have more style and focus, constructing a blindingly innovative and relentlessly propulsive album that's an exhilarating listen -- one that sounds positively new but utterly inviting at the same time. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD£11.49

Dance - Released January 1, 1999 | Virgin Records

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
By the time of the Chemical Brothers' third album, Surrender, the big beat phenomenon they had done much to engender was more apt to be heard on a soft drink commercial than the world's hipper dancefloors. And with the growing omnipresence of big beat's simplistic party vibes threatening to cave in the entire scene, Tom and Ed came to grips with what is -- compared to their previous work -- a house record. The pounding four-on-the-floor thump of tracks like "Music:Response," "Got Glint," and the duo's take on KLF-style stadium house for the single "Hey Boy Hey Girl" signals that this is a transition record for the Chemical Brothers, one that could eventually take them back into the straight-ahead dance mainstream status enjoyed by acts from Daft Punk to Armand Van Helden. The irony here is that even considering the changes, Surrender still feels very similar to its predecessors. The focus on wave-of-sound production, buckets full of old-school vocal samples, and various sirens and beatbox effects sound like they were lifted wholesale from their breakout album, Dig Your Own Hole, or their first release, Exit Planet Dust. And while a few of the vocal tracks focus on new collaborations, they're along the same lines, making it tough to spot the differences from past albums -- the quavering British vocals of Beth Orton have given way to the quavering American vocals of Hope Sandoval, and the Charlatans' Tim Burgess is replaced by New Order's reclusive Bernard Sumner (a sure sign that the Chemicals have moved up a notch on the music-industry food chain). Also, two returning guests (Noel Gallagher and a member of Mercury Rev, here Jonathan Donahue) make very similar contributions to the record in the identical places they appeared on Dig Your Own Hole. Even besides its simpy title, the Gallagher track "Let Forever Be" is the very same electronica update of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" that made their 1996 collaboration single "Setting Sun" a number one hit in Britain. And the Donahue track, "Dream On," is very similar to the indie psychedelia of "The Private Psychedelic Reel" from Dig Your Own Hole. Sure, the Chemical Brothers do this type of music very well; it's just that Surrender isn't quite the change of direction they'd been aiming for -- it's simply the same great album they'd made two years earlier. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 2005 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When the big beat boom gradually subsided, the Chemical Brothers initially sought refuge within a carefully crafted version of house music both epic and psychedelic. Still, the duo are fusion fans at heart, and their fifth studio album, Push the Button, finds them easing back to their true love -- pulverizing stylistic boundaries while they seek out clever hooks to hang their production caps on. The first half of the record is heavy on collaboration, beginning with the clear highlight, "Galvanize," which features guest Q-Tip riding a delicious mid-tempo groove and the brothers teasing out an ingenious Middle Eastern string sample over the course of several breakdowns and over six minutes. "The Boxer" has ChemBros veteran Tim Burgess of the Charlatans coming on like an extroverted Steve Miller, while the next track, "Believe," features Britpop newcomer Kele Okereke (of Bloc Party) agonizing over an energized electroshock production composed of equal parts Prince and Chicago acid house. It's clear the Chemical Brothers are still searching restlessly for new sounds and new fusions; only they could alternate a polemical hip-hop track -- "Left Right," a guest spot for Anwar Superstar, who, incidentally, may be the younger brother of Mos Def, but sounds like he's been living in Jay-Z's head for a few years -- with a feature for an indie band, the Magic Numbers ("Close Your Eyes"). Obviously, it's far more refreshing to explore new territory rather than merely go back over old ground; while "Come Inside" suffers by aping their 1997 approach, the subsequent track, "The Big Jump," finds the pair energized with a fresh gloss on their patented sound (although it is easy to notice how the skronky guitars in the background are clearly a post-electroclash development). While there aren't as many heart-stopping productions as on 2002's unjustly neglected Come With Us, Push the Button proves the Chemical Brothers have retained the innate curiosity necessary to keep them blazing trails for years to come. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 1995 | Astralwerks

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The former Dust Brothers make oblique reference to litigation averted on their debut full-length. The Chemical Brothers' sound is big on bombast, replete with screeching guitar samples and lots of sirens and screaming divas. A breakthrough album of sorts, Exit Planet Dust was, upon its release, one of the few European post-techno albums to make any sort of headway into the stateside market. © Sean Cooper /TiVo
CD£11.99

Electronic - Released April 12, 2019 | Virgin EMI

On a brisk set with some familiar callbacks to their big beat heyday, the Chemical Brothers offer a decent late-era installment with their ninth album, No Geography. Not as exploratory or insular as their other 2010s output, No Geography is a steady, no-frills mix that focuses more on clever samples than guest vocals and festival-sized body-rocking. Standing out atop the pack, the singles are the best moments on the album. Persistent throbber "Got to Keep On" rides a glittery disco-funk sample (Peter Brown's 1977 gem "Dance With Me") while "We've Got to Try" goes the soul route by swiping the uplifting vocals from the Hallelujah Chorus' "I've Got to Find a Way" and grinding them into a buzzy, robust anthem that recalls the duo's late-'90s best. In a similar vein, "Free Yourself" is all digital dread, taking snippets of Diane di Prima's utopian poetry and twisting them into a robotic instruction manual for liberation through the dancefloor. However, "MAH" ends up being the riotous highlight of No Geography (utilizing a hilariously crotchety El Coco sample from 1977), the closest the Chems come to that "classic" old-school sound. In addition to the singles, Norwegian singer Aurora plays an important role in the album's sound, bringing much-needed emotion to a trio of songs with her ethereal vocals and songwriting. Japanese rapper Nene also guests, dropping a scene-stealing and all-too-brief verse on "Eve of Destruction." While not a low in the Chemical Brothers' catalog by any means, No Geography is also not their strongest or most memorable work to date. It's best not to call it a comeback, just another ample addition to their decades-long discography. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
CD£25.49

Electronic - Released June 21, 1999 | Virgin Records

By the time of the Chemical Brothers' third album, Surrender, the big beat phenomenon they had done much to engender was more apt to be heard on a soft drink commercial than the world's hipper dancefloors. And with the growing omnipresence of big beat's simplistic party vibes threatening to cave in the entire scene, Tom and Ed came to grips with what is -- compared to their previous work -- a house record. The pounding four-on-the-floor thump of tracks like "Music:Response," "Got Glint," and the duo's take on KLF-style stadium house for the single "Hey Boy Hey Girl" signals that this is a transition record for the Chemical Brothers, one that could eventually take them back into the straight-ahead dance mainstream status enjoyed by acts from Daft Punk to Armand Van Helden. The irony here is that even considering the changes, Surrender still feels very similar to its predecessors. The focus on wave-of-sound production, buckets full of old-school vocal samples, and various sirens and beatbox effects sound like they were lifted wholesale from their breakout album, Dig Your Own Hole, or their first release, Exit Planet Dust. And while a few of the vocal tracks focus on new collaborations, they're along the same lines, making it tough to spot the differences from past albums -- the quavering British vocals of Beth Orton have given way to the quavering American vocals of Hope Sandoval, and the Charlatans' Tim Burgess is replaced by New Order's reclusive Bernard Sumner (a sure sign that the Chemicals have moved up a notch on the music-industry food chain). Also, two returning guests (Noel Gallagher and a member of Mercury Rev, here Jonathan Donahue) make very similar contributions to the record in the identical places they appeared on Dig Your Own Hole. Even besides its simpy title, the Gallagher track "Let Forever Be" is the very same electronica update of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" that made their 1996 collaboration single "Setting Sun" a number one hit in Britain. And the Donahue track, "Dream On," is very similar to the indie psychedelia of "The Private Psychedelic Reel" from Dig Your Own Hole. Sure, the Chemical Brothers do this type of music very well; it's just that Surrender isn't quite the change of direction they'd been aiming for -- it's simply the same great album they'd made two years earlier. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£13.49

Electronic - Released June 27, 2007 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

The Chemical Brothers never stopped being great producers, but during some of their ho-hum full-lengths of the early 2000s, they relied too much on production skills and forgot what they were first known for: innovative sounds and great hooks. (It's hard to deny that their comparatively sleek psychedelic house was a far cry from the big-beat bombast and excitement of their first two LPs.) Unfortunately, We Are the Night is no departure, although it does reveal Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons showing some build-to-suit character instead of angling for the straitjacket-tight and over-serious dance music of their past ten years. The first half of the record, including the single "Do It Again" (unconsciously ironic title?), is no better nor worse than most of what the Chemical Brothers produced between 1998 and 2007, but beginning with a diverting little electro noodling called "Das Spiegel," it becomes clear that there's a little more going on here. Hip-hop's favorite toker, Fatlip, stops by to relate an odd tale about fish ("The Salmon Dance"), "A Modern Midnight Conversation" dabbles in Italo-disco (but gets most of its flavor from a sample), and the duo stretch out (slightly) for the creepy four-four crawl "Battle Scars" with neo-folkie Willy Mason. The Chemical Brothers have occasionally shrouded their more interesting productions until the second half of their LPs, but something else is obviously needed. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£5.49

Electronic - Released July 17, 2015 | Virgin EMI

An album that fades in -- grinding and beeping like a space shuttle returning to Earth -- Born in the Echoes is the first LP in five years from the Chemical Brothers. It's a journey back home for the big beat or stadium dance duo, just like that spaceship intro implies, and one with all the necessary mutations. The dark, otherworldly, and prog rock sounds that kept many away from their 2010 release Further are back, although here they're framed much more attractively. Inspiration, innovation, and a well-chosen group of guest vocalists are rolled out sensibly, schooling the current EDM crowd on how to craft an album while balancing the heavy songs. With the hallucinatory, interlude-like "Taste of Honey" giving way to the Cate Le Bon feature on the Meco-meets-Nico title track, this album ebbs and flows as if the '70s Pink Floyd hadn't ignored disco. Speaking of, "Under Neon Lights" with St. Vincent as a robot siren is either Studio 54 on shrooms or The Matrix on acid. As usual, none of it is too garish even with all the loudness and chaos, and some of it is quite gothy and dark, including "EML Ritual" with Ali Love helping execute a mainstream dance tune that coolly acknowledges the passed-on genre of "witch house." The veteran duo deliver the rocker "I'll See You There" in the pop culture-aware style of the Black Keys rather than old chums like Oasis or the Verve, and if that isn't Daft Punk's recent repping of the '70s being "borrowed" throughout the album, that's certainly the spirited sway of Future Islands influencing and driving the fantastic Beck feature "Wide Open." Add an appearance from the swagger master Q-Tip and Born in the Echoes is an excellent mash of familiar and vanguard, the very same formula that lifts all the duo's best albums above expectations. © David Jeffries /TiVo
CD£8.99

Electronic - Released July 17, 2015 | Virgin EMI

An album that fades in -- grinding and beeping like a space shuttle returning to Earth -- Born in the Echoes is the first LP in five years from the Chemical Brothers. It's a journey back home for the big beat or stadium dance duo, just like that spaceship intro implies, and one with all the necessary mutations. The dark, otherworldly, and prog rock sounds that kept many away from their 2010 release Further are back, although here they're framed much more attractively. Inspiration, innovation, and a well-chosen group of guest vocalists are rolled out sensibly, schooling the current EDM crowd on how to craft an album while balancing the heavy songs. With the hallucinatory, interlude-like "Taste of Honey" giving way to the Cate Le Bon feature on the Meco-meets-Nico title track, this album ebbs and flows as if the '70s Pink Floyd hadn't ignored disco. Speaking of, "Under Neon Lights" with St. Vincent as a robot siren is either Studio 54 on shrooms or The Matrix on acid. As usual, none of it is too garish even with all the loudness and chaos, and some of it is quite gothy and dark, including "EML Ritual" with Ali Love helping execute a mainstream dance tune that coolly acknowledges the passed-on genre of "witch house." The veteran duo deliver the rocker "I'll See You There" in the pop culture-aware style of the Black Keys rather than old chums like Oasis or the Verve, and if that isn't Daft Punk's recent repping of the '70s being "borrowed" throughout the album, that's certainly the spirited sway of Future Islands influencing and driving the fantastic Beck feature "Wide Open." Add an appearance from the swagger master Q-Tip and Born in the Echoes is an excellent mash of familiar and vanguard, the very same formula that lifts all the duo's best albums above expectations. © David Jeffries /TiVo
CD£11.49

Dance - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin Records

Don't call it a comeback (they never left) or a return to the underground (there's still a spot reserved in Britain's Top Ten). Still, after disappointing critics and fans with increasingly crossover material, Chemical Brothers Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons returned with a tighter, more danceable record, including fewer rock-star collaborations (only two, shunted toward the end) and a lead single ("It Began in Afrika") introduced almost a year before, on white label only, for crucial DJ ground support. From the vocal sample introducing the opener ("behold...they're coming back"), it's clear Rowlands and Simons know the importance of this fourth album, and it detonates like a bomb blast, as though the duo knew that Come with Us had to be bigger and badder than all the bombastic breaks they'd dropped in the past. "It Began in Afrika" is next up, with percussion-heavy tribal-house charging into trance-state acid and a warping vocal sample repeating the title. After the opener, "Galaxy Bounce" is the best track here, locking into a nice Chic groove and alternating a strutting drum break with stop-time turntablism. The vocal features are solid but ignorable; Beth Orton's "The State We're In" is a predictable, pleasant folkie jam, and Richard Ashcroft's closer, "The Test," a pseudo-mystical breakbeat epic. The Chemical Brothers' best studio work has a kinetic energy and pace borrowed from the flow of their DJ sets. After forgetting the key on 1999's Surrender amidst handling all of the celebrity guests, they got back to business with Come with Us. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£11.49

Dance - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

Booklet
The Chemical Brothers' second career-spanning compilation is basically a substitute for the first, including nine of the same tracks first reissued on 2003's Singles 93-03 and then making room for a few of the touchstones released between 2003 and 2008 (two of which are new to this collection). The early classics "Chemical Beats" and "Leave Home" are still among the best of their career, while "Block Rockin' Beats" and "Setting Sun" (featuring Noel Gallagher) found the mature Chemical Brothers quickly growing comfortable with a stadium-sized sound and profile. From there, the duo appeared to merely refine their approach, gathering in further psychedelic and house influences while they scored gradually more popular guests over the subsequent ten years. Brotherhood's track listing could easily be quarreled with, but it includes most of the approved highlights from each album, early or old, innovative or orthodox. One of the new tracks features an intriguing matchup, with Spank Rock's Naeem Juwan joining the ChemBros for "Keep My Composure," a rather clever piece of acid hip-hop. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£7.99

Electronic - Released June 14, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Further is the first Chemical Brothers album without a guest vocalist since their debut. Consequently, with no worries about crafting tracks around a Q-Tip or Richard Ashcroft, the duo has full freedom to focus on enveloping listeners in the sound world usually just experienced at its shows -- although, naturally, without the lights and atmosphere to accompany the music. After a beatless first track titled "Snow," the 12-minute single "Escape Velocity" approximates a rocket launch, the impressive effects continually rising over the first few minutes until the beat kicks in with full force. Still, as a single or an album track, "Escape Velocity" isn't a total success. The effects and distortion would certainly do Kevin Shields or Sonic Boom proud, but the lockstep beats, when they do come in, are practically an anticlimax. From there, Ed and Tom go in differing directions, with typically varied results; they seem to have learned lessons from the past, varying their tracks slightly. "Another World" is a perfect example, appropriately otherworldly and shimmering, an '80s throwback capable of provoking jealousy in chillwave maestros like Neon Indian and Washed Out. But the Chemical format of old is still rampant and still rather stultifying; the psychedelic distortion on "Swoon" sounds self-sampled (or swiped from Orbital's "Lush 3-1"), while "Horse Power" has very little to recommend it except a distorted vocal repeating the title and, wait for it, horse whinnies. The Chemical Brothers have remained in the stadium house category for a decade-plus due to their immersive music and vivid light shows, but from the stale beats and lack of new ideas on display here, they'd do better going beatless or hiring a drummer. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£12.99

Film Soundtracks - Released June 10, 2011 | Sony Classical

CD£6.99

Dance - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

Booklet
The Chemical Brothers' second career-spanning compilation is basically a substitute for the first, including nine of the same tracks first reissued on 2003's Singles 93-03 and then making room for a few of the touchstones released between 2003 and 2008 (two of which are new to this collection). The early classics "Chemical Beats" and "Leave Home" are still among the best of their career, while "Block Rockin' Beats" and "Setting Sun" (featuring Noel Gallagher) found the mature Chemical Brothers quickly growing comfortable with a stadium-sized sound and profile. From there, the duo appeared to merely refine their approach, gathering in further psychedelic and house influences while they scored gradually more popular guests over the subsequent ten years. Brotherhood's track listing could easily be quarreled with, but it includes most of the approved highlights from each album, early or old, innovative or orthodox. One of the new tracks features an intriguing matchup, with Spank Rock's Naeem Juwan joining the ChemBros for "Keep My Composure," a rather clever piece of acid hip-hop. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£2.49

Electronic - Released September 15, 2003 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

CD£11.49

Dance - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Records

Booklet
The Chemical Brothers' second career-spanning compilation is basically a substitute for the first, including nine of the same tracks first reissued on 2003's Singles 93-03 and then making room for a few of the touchstones released between 2003 and 2008 (two of which are new to this collection). The early classics "Chemical Beats" and "Leave Home" are still among the best of their career, while "Block Rockin' Beats" and "Setting Sun" (featuring Noel Gallagher) found the mature Chemical Brothers quickly growing comfortable with a stadium-sized sound and profile. From there, the duo appeared to merely refine their approach, gathering in further psychedelic and house influences while they scored gradually more popular guests over the subsequent ten years. Brotherhood's track listing could easily be quarreled with, but it includes most of the approved highlights from each album, early or old, innovative or orthodox. One of the new tracks features an intriguing matchup, with Spank Rock's Naeem Juwan joining the ChemBros for "Keep My Composure," a rather clever piece of acid hip-hop. © John Bush /TiVo
CD£11.49

Electronic - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Records

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, better known to their fans as the Chemical Brothers, present a handy package of hard to find tracks with this collection. B-Sides, Vol. 1 brings together nine rare non-LP single sides from the popular electronic dance act, originally released between 1995 and 2007, along with one previously unreleased track, "Silver Drizzle." Other selections include "Nude Night," "Prescription Beats," "The Diamond Sky," "Snooprah," and more. © Mark Deming /TiVo
CD£4.49

Electronic - Released May 22, 2015 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

CD£8.99
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Electronic - Released May 4, 2015 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

CD£1.49

Electronic - Released March 15, 2019 | Virgin EMI