London electronic duo Saul Milton and Will Kennard, better known as Chase and Status released this album back in January 2011. Chase and Status's early work was more classically Drum and Bass, however the new album, No More Idols, is a much more varied, albeit more "commercialised" affair (which I'm not saying is a bad thing). The album had a number of Top 40 hits, including End Credits (feat. Plan B), Blind Faith (feat. Liam Bailey), and Flashing Lights (feat. Takura).
So Is It Any Good?
+++ Floor-Filling Singles +++
The album has clearly been built from the ground up with chart releases in mind. The album is split roughly 50/50 - with half the tracks being powerful and more simplistically-arranged (Blind Faith, Flashing Lights, Time, End Credits).
The singles are all brilliant - catchy melodies, well-chosen samples and bass that vibrates my brain just right.
Have a listen to Blind Faith and Flashing Lights through a good pair of headphones and tell me you aren't almost religiously-inspired to find class A drugs and attend an illegal rave.
Is that just me? Bugger.
The other half is an eclectic mix with collaborations from artists such as White Lies, Tempa T and Dizzee Rascals, that are clearly less "radio-friendly" (Hypest Hype, Heavy and Hocus Pocus.... all beginning with "H".... hmmm).
These tracks are great in their own right, being diverse in musical influences and characteristics, such that the album as a whole dips into many electronic genres - and manages to pull each one of them off. Each track has its own personality, well-suited to the guest vocalist who features on the album - and a big bonus point for showcasing so many UK artists as well - this album is a fantastic reference when describing great contemporary UK music.
--- Personal Tastes ---
There is always this risk when you create such a diverse album - some of the tracks won't appeal to everyone. A few of the tracks on the album are certainly impressive - and really show off Chase and Status's musical skills - but sadly I found them a little off-putting.
Strangely, this wasn't the tracks that I initially disliked - the track Time has really grown on me, and is now one of my favourite tracks on the album. Tunes such as Hits and Embrace have never really appealed to me though - so I have to skip them when I put the album on.
It is just the odd track that lets the album down for me though - the rest of the album is still highly playable and thoroughly enjoyable... and has been on my MP3 player for most of the past twelve months.
An eclectic mix of tracks, artists and genres - this defies labels and redefines perceptions. People who have had no interest in electronic music whatsoever have still picked up this album and found a few tracks that they love.
Absolutely love the UK talent involved - and the guest vocalists are both well-chosen and well-utilised. Each track has its own unique flavour, with the genre and the vocals working together to create a series of distinct musical experiences. This is varied, thoughtful, clever stuff.
The only problem is that with such a diverse mix, you are bound to alienate some listeners with one track or two. The testament to the albums quality is that my personal preferences were changed by some of the tunes - and you end up with a more diverse set of songs on your playlists as a result.
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