eMusic Review 0
The rowdy and hedonistic London overspill county of Essex has been part of Underworld's shared psyche for so long that it's a wonder they've never used Barking — which is an Essex town, a crazy state of mind, and the battle cry of another Underworld obsession, dogs — as a title before. This sixth album from the duo of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith marks something of a rejuvenation: they're now working with current DJ-producers for the first time since the departure of Darren Emerson in 1999 and the result is their most immediate and energizing work since their post-Trainspotting heyday of "Born Slippy (Nuxx)" and "Pearl's Girl."
The most conspicuous upgrade of all is the fantastic single "Always Loved A Film,"completed with house producers Mark Knight and D. Ramirez. It plugs Underworld's instinctive musical complexity right back to the ecstatic can-you-feel-it qualities that gave them direction back in 1988. Here Karl Hyde's customary stream-of-consciousness vocals snap into focus as he connects the rhythm of car keys, walking feet, wheels, heels and beating sunbeams into an earthly vision of paradise. In a less timid radio environment it'd be a summer smash.
For the most part the collaborators guide Smith and Hyde back… read more »