September 13, 2010
Album review: Underworld - Barking (Cooking Vinyl)
Forays into experimentation show that Karl Hyde and Rick Smith should stick to what they do best
5 / 10
In the ’90s, everyone loved Underworld and feared the millennium bug. Hence, it makes odd sense that the band has been misfiring consistently since 1999’s ‘Beaucoup Fish’. With ‘Barking’, they manage to spark into life just twice. ‘Bird 1’ and ‘Move In Water’ are, in the vein of classic Underworld, simultaneously danceable and menacingly strange. Elsewhere, though, this collaboration-heavy eighth album tends to fail when it experiments: ‘Louisiana’ is a tediously mournful love song, and ‘Diamond Jigsaw’ a baffling Doves-style stadium-indie anthem. Elsewhere, there are time-warping forays into bland house, formulaic drum’n’bass and (shudder) chill-out music. Remember that? No? Good.
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