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The Chemical Brothers - No Geography

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No Geography

The Chemical Brothers

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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

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No Geography

The Chemical Brothers

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1
Eve Of Destruction 00:04:40

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hal Ritson, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mark Ralph, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Adlam, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nene, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Aurora Aksnes, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James J. Calloway, ComposerLyricist - Leroy O-Neil Jackson Jr, ComposerLyricist

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Bango 00:04:07

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hal Ritson, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Adlam, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora Aksnes, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

3
No Geography 00:03:10

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Herbert, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Michael Brownstein, ComposerLyricist

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Got To Keep On 00:05:15

Robert Rans, ComposerLyricist - Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Brown, ComposerLyricist - Hal Ritson, Engineer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Miriam Stockley, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Adlam, Engineer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Vula Malinga, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Stephanie Dosen, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Celestine Walcott-Gordon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kayleigh Graham, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Rob McKuen, ComposerLyricist

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Gravity Drops 00:04:30

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

6
The Universe Sent Me 00:06:02

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Herbert, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora Aksnes, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

7
We've Got To Try 00:03:35

Rob Harris, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Hal Ritson, Engineer, Keyboards, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Marianne Haynes, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Pegue, ComposerLyricist - Richard Adlam, Drums, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ciaran McCabe, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Celestine Walcott-Gordon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eshan Gopal, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Chambers, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Free Yourself 00:04:21

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Diane Di Prima, ComposerLyricist

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2018 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

9
MAH 00:05:35

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - W. Michael Lewis, ComposerLyricist - Laurin Rinder, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Catch Me I'm Falling 00:05:27

Mike Marsh, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Chemical Brothers, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Rowlands, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ed Simons, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mark Ralph, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Philip Raymonde, ComposerLyricist - Mike Hanks, ComposerLyricist - Stephanie Dosen, ComposerLyricist - Steve "Dub" Jones, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

A Virgin EMI Records recording; ℗ 2019 The Chemical Brothers, under exclusive license to Universal Music Operations Limited

Album Description

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

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