...puts the plain bad into the once merely bland...
Even if you’ve tried to avoid it, you’ve probably heard Chicane – aka Nick Bracegirdle – as he hit Number One the other week with the tame, mealy-mouthed techno of ‘Don’t Give Up’, featuring vocals from a certain Mr Bryan Adams. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Because most of the album sounds just like that track – anodyne dance music for people who don’t go to clubs, comedown music for people who don’t do drugs. Complete with – we kid you no – didgeridoos and dolphin noises. All new-age ambient clichis present and correct too, then.
Jesus, it even features Maire Brennan from Clannad (on his Top Six hit ‘Saltwater’), but at least that bears a passing resemblance to something you could play out at Ibiza’s Cafe Del Mar without being shot. So old Nick puts a ten-minute remixed version on the album too, just in case we fell asleep first time round.
You can hear the sound of shifting units behind every BBC sound effects department beat, the clips on Sky Sports, the car adverts. It runs a narrow gamut of predictable, soulless and cynical MDF-built Balearic house, to flotation-tank funk to Prozaced-out background muzak for sipping decaf coffee to at an organic dinner party.
Oh, and Ray Hedges helped produce it, the man behind B*Witched. And frankly, that puts the plain bad into the once merely bland.