FATBOY SLIM
HALFWAY BETWEEN THE GUTTER AND THE STARS
ALBUM SKINT RELEASE: NOVEMBER 6, 2000 REVIEW: NOVEMBER 27, 2000

Fatboy Slim should, along with The Chemical Brothers, be blamed for turning English dance music into pub rock. That's mostly a good thing, considering the quality of ordinary pub rock, but few can deny the tediousness of yet another big beats record, with stupid hip hop samples on top, in the year 2000.
Norman Cook is this weird combination of gifted beats maestro and beer swigging regular guy who is in it for the laughs. His singles so far have been mostly great, happy dancefloor shakers. I don't know about this new "Sunset (Bird of Prey)", though. Using a sample of sung poetry by Jim Morrison for a floor-filler single is a bit strange. Is Cook finally turning pretentious on us?
To affirm this suspicion, incredible crooner Macy Gray has been invited to actually sing (not just be sampled and repeated endlessly) on two tracks, of which the second, called "Demons" has a very nice gospel feeling to it. I just rather fear the day when Noel Gallagher is invited into the studio as well
Overall, the record is very schizophrenic. On one hand, Cook is trying to remake his previous, winning feel good stomp with boooring results. On the other, he is aiming for musical diversity, sprinkling in some TV theme music ("Weapon of Choice"), guest singers and lots of gospel into the funky brew. He doesn't really succeed in either one of his ambitions, though the record definitely has its rewarding moments ("Ya Mama" may sound like Chemical Brothers five years ago but hey, it still rocks).
Better luck next time, funk soul brother.

MATTIAS HUSS


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