Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance

Eighteen years after “Charly”, and they’re back in the top 10…


Martin Skidmore: That Liam’s rather lazy: two albums in almost 15 years before this new one. It has a bit more electroish crunch at the bottom end, but a lot of the higher beats hark back to their earliest days, as does the sampled female vocal. The breakdown is a big bore, but evoking the early-’90s hardcore days is all right with me, and we are spared Keith’s sub-Rotten yelling. I guess this is fairly crappy and unnecessary, but I don’t mind it.

Hillary Brown: All rhythm, no melody, no reason to listen. I am not a machine. Or, if I am, I’m the kind that thinks it’s a human.

Alex Ostroff: Opens with a sinuous riff that sounds like a snake flute, alien and seductive. After that, “Warrior’s Dance” hits the ground running and never lets up. While I’m not particularly familiar with Prodigy, one gets the impression that this is nothing novel for them, but it’s done very well. Is this where drum’n’bass went?

Colin Cooper: With a video terrifyingly similar to the vivid dreams I’ve been having since I started using nicotine patches a couple of weeks ago (try accidentally leaving them on overnight, quitters), “Warrior’s Dance” is four or five left-handed synth notes, a female vocal sample and a sax playing a line that sounds awfully like that abysmal Guru Josh Project record from last year. In short, it’s rudimentary post-Fat of the Land Prodigy fare: I quite like it, but it isn’t going to set my world on fire like the material of theirs I’m pretending I’m old enough to remember dancing to. Mind you, The Prodigy recently sold out an arena tour on the basis on just that brand of fanciful nostalgia, so what do I know?

Michaelangelo Matos: Blobby bass, tinny break, diva so shrill you can practically see the lycra and the glow sticks. A good flashback from a guy who knew better than to make records this rudimentary back when that’s what everyone else just did.

Chuck Eddy: I like them, or have in the past — actually thought they got even better when they got more “rock,” so ugly Ummurhican troglodyte that I am, The Fat Of the Land is still my favorite album of theirs. Thiiiis has the biiiig beeeat, I’ll give it that. Doesn’t sound war-like enough, though; maybe they forgot how to metal? Good chance they forgot how to dub, too. And how to John Lydon, and how to Mark E. Smith. Here, I prefer the chattering chipmunk vocal parts to the diva ones.

Andrew Unterberger: Is it still considered bandwagon-jumping if, once upon a time, you helped invent the damn thing? (Or at least properly market it, if you want to get technical). It’s crazy to me that The Prodigy are doing straight-ish rave again, and even crazier that instead of sounding nostalgically retro, it just sounds slightly behind the times. Wouldn’t matter if it was a song to rank with “Charly” or “Everybody in the Place” — or even “Gravity’s Rainbow” — but this one’s not going to be making anyone forget about those songs anytime soon. To be fair, though, I did kind of like “Omen.”

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