‘Further’ Electrifies

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With 'Further,' electronic duo Ed Simons and Tim Rowlands seek to place listeners in a spiritual state.

The best music of any genre can and will attract even those who are not familiar with it. British electronic duo The Chemical Brothers’ newest album, “Further,” is a solid record by any standard. “Further” is a fantastic listen, and is the kind of record that would drive even the most skeptical person into an expedition to acquire the rest of The Chemical Brothers’ discography.

The Chemical Brothers not only make great electronic music, but show remarkable songwriting and composition skills. The melodies and beats in the songs are top-notch and catchy and everything is well-executed. At the end of the day, listeners are able to understand the duo’s emotions through their music, which is the best success marker. On top of this, the entire album is extremely well-connected and seamlessly fits together. Especially if you’re already a fan of the electronic music genre, “Further” is a must-buy.

The album opens with “Snow,” which begins with rhythmic electronic feedback and beeping, followed by harmonizing vocals which add the melody that is repeated throughout the song. With the slow progression of keys and “synths”, the song develops into a trance-like experience, which seamlessly fades into the next song.

“Escape Velocity” begins indistinguishably from “Snow,” and eventually transforms into an epic synth-driven journey which does indeed make you feel like you’re breaking earth’s escape velocity and are headed somewhere grand. Being nearly 12 minutes long, the song has plenty of time and body to build up synths and beats that truly encapsulate the feeling.
The record then moves into “Another World.” The song takes you into moments of ethereal chords and eventually mellows out into a quieter, almost eerie verse. The Chemical Brothers did an excellent job of conveying the emotions they intended through the song. As a result, “Another World” is another aptly-named song.

“Dissolve” fades in immediately after its predecessor and continues the album’s ethereal immersion. The song drives you with electronic instruments until a breakdown with tasteful vocals occurs that add to the experience, and then it all builds up again.

Seamlessly transitioning from the previous song, “Horse Power” builds itself up into an upbeat, almost quirky track with catchy, hypnotic beats and melodies. True to its namesake, the song is marked by a robotic voice repeating the words “horse” and “power” throughout most of the song. One of the best parts of the song is the synth-solo breakdown in the middle, which adds more depth to the song.

The Chemical Brothers once again show their knack for naming songs with “Swoon.” Possibly one of the best on the album, the song is the perfect storm of electric melodies, vocal harmonies and jumpy bass lines to create an upbeat, ecstatic experience. The awesome combination of these elements during the first two minutes almost makes it a shame when the song moves on. But, judging from the rest of this record, these guys can’t really do anything wrong.

After “Swoon” abruptly stops, “K+D+B” picks up. The song starts with an extremely catchy beat that is layered upon and builds the foundation of the track. The song uses its fair share of synths and melodies, along with the line “higher, and higher…” to truly impart the uplifting, danceable feeling of the song.

“Wonders of the Deep” continues this uplifting spirit. The song builds up to a chorus of vocals elevating the atmosphere, with breaks between light guitar and synth interplay. Eventually, the song literally trickles down and out, ending the superb album.

“Further” is in every way a marvelous piece of work. Not only is every song well-crafted and carefully arranged, but the entire album is actually a single piece that works together as one. The Chemical Brothers manage to construct the record in a cohesive way that makes you feel like you’re being lifted up and taken for a ride. The songs are merely titles for the segments of the journey.

With such a display of sensational songwriting combined with great envisioning and execution, The Chemical Brothers’ “Further” is simply amazing.