Junkie XL - Today

Best known for his 2002 re-working of A Little Less Conversation, Tom Holkenberg (aka Junkie XL) has remixed and produced various big artists (from Britney Spears to Rammstein), written film scores and indeed made three albums prior to this one. Like the Elvis track, Today blends dance music with guitars, but in an altogether more serious manner.

It's the sort of record you listen to while ticking off reference points. Youthful feels like a cross between Underworld (mainly thanks to its epic length) and something off UNKLE's Never Never Land. More surprisingingly, the guitars on Such A Tease, Drift Away and I've Got A Xerox To Copy recall The Cocteau Twins, and Honey, a mixture of acoustic strumming, ambient soundscape and vocals that never make themselves entirely clear, may have one thinking of The Durutti Column.

Overall, however, Today is comparable to New Order or Moby at their most workmanlike (the have-a-go vocals also bringing to mind the latter). It's technically impressive without ever being inspiring. The beats seem more suited to driving than dancing, if you know what I mean. Or perhaps it's the perfect soundtrack to the football highlights on TV? Plenty of forward momentum, but lacking in soul.

Overall

6

out of 10

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