T Elshaw

The Chemical Brothers
"Dig Your Own Hole"

15th April 2004
reviewer: T Elshaw
rating: 5 out of 5
published by: Virgin
released: 28th January 2002
  1. Block Rocking Beats
  2. Dig Your Own Hole
  3. Elektrobank
  4. Piku
  5. Setting Sun
  6. It Doesn't Matter
  7. Don't Stop The Rock
  8. Get Up On It Like This
  9. Lost In The K-hole
  10. Where Do I Begin?
  11. The Private Psychedelic Reel

After their amazing 1995 debut album "Exit Planet Dust", the Chemical Brothers (Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons) took everything that made the first album a success and sought to improve and refine every aspect to make an even bigger and better sound, attempting to combine the genres of rock and dance music to create a new, unique sound, and succeeding with their 1997 follow up "Dig Your Own Hole".

The opening track "Block Rockin' Beats" is an unbelievable assualt on the senses and a wonderful feat of DJ-ing and sets the standard for the rest of the album perfectly. At the end of the track the beat carries on and builds up again into "Dig Your Own Hole" and the audio assault continues as the title track gains momentum and takes you on a fantastic journey of sound that carries on all the way throughout the album.

Other tracks include the brilliant "Setting Sun", featuring Noel Gallagher (of Oasis fame) which was released as quite a succesful single. Despite the fact that I really don't like Oasis, his vocals go really well with the music. The track is one of my favourite songs on the album along with "Where do I Begin? which features vocals from Beth Orton (again, an artist whose own music doesn't appeal to me) and is a gently opening, calm track with beautiful, poetic lyrics ("Sunday morning i'm waking up, can't even focus on a coffee cup; don't even know who's bed i'm in, where do I start, where do I begin?") which builds up to a crescendo of beats and distorted electronic noises with astonishing results.

The final track "The Private Psychedelic Reel" is an epic 11-minute musical journey which was inspired by a recording (of the same name) the Beatles made for themselves to listen to whilst under the influence of alcohol and mind altering substances. Futuristic sounds and strange electronic noises lead to the climactic end, with an awesome electronically enhanced clarinet solo. The track is brilliant throughout and ends the album on a pleasant note.

Words alone cannot explain the sheer musical excellence which the Chemical Brothers posses and display so easily with this album, it begs you to listen repeatedly, and you will.