The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night
We Are The Night has been hailed by some critics as their best work since Surrender (what was wrong with the superb Push the Button?), but is pretty much The Chemical Brothers by numbers. Still, given it's their sixth album, and dance acts - even ones that get people who don't normally venture beyond rock and indie into clubs - aren't supposed to last this long, perhaps we should be grateful that it's at least reliable.
There are the collaborations with currently hip artists, such as Klaxons and Willy Mason, plenty of dancefloor psychedelia (Saturate being the finest example), some hip hop and a rather disco number in A Modern Midnight Conversation. The Pills Won't Help You Now, featuring Tim Smith of Midlake, is the big comedown ballad at the end, and a reminder Tom and Ed aren't just superstar DJs but actually accomplished producers. Unfortunately, The Salmon Dance is a poor joke which sticks like a fishbone in the throat, the squeaky Das Spiegel desperately needs a cannister of oil, and Battle Scars (the aforementioned Mason collaboration) is, to be honest, a bit dull.
If only three crappy tracks out of twelve doesn't sound bad, what's missing throughout is any real frisson. There's very little here that isn't a rehash of something The Chemical Brothers have done better previously. Come With Us, widely acknowledged as the duo's worst record to date, had Star Guitar, a tune capable of sending a shiver down the spine and making one weepy for their old raving days. By contrast, We Are The Night is a decent album, but it's hard to imagine these tracks making it onto anybody's favourites list or stirring up any great desire to - pardon the pun - do it again.