The Prodigy has lost their ability to make good music. In the
last five years, The band has lost three members (including its
dancer), and has not really accomplished anything musically since
their its Fat of the Land, or its competent follow up, The
Dirtchamber Sessions Vol. I. What The Prodigy have to offer with
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is an incredibly polarized and
drifting effort.

Music Reviews

Consider this to be Fat of the Land’s weak little brother.
Some superficial traits make the two seem similar, but when the
listener gives this album a chance, it is easy to see that it is
shallow and self-indulgent. If frontman Liam Howlett hadn’t
had the presence of mind to bring on board some interesting
collaborators, this album would be a total wash. The inclusions of
Twista, Kool Keith and actress Juliette Lewis are the album’s
saving grace.

What distinguishes it from the earlier work of the band —
and may have something to do with the departure of group members
Maxim and Keith Flint — is that there are songs that cannot
be labeled as standard-fare techno. The song “Hotride,”
which features sexy vocal work by Juliette Lewis, is an out-and-out
rock song, standing out as the most refreshing and enjoyable song
on the album.

The other collaborative efforts both have their ups and downs.
“Get Up Get Off” features Twista and Juliette Lewis in
one of the strangest pairings since Britney Spears and Aerosmith at
Superbowl XXXVI. The song strikes a comfortable middle ground
between the acid-house dance beats The Prodigy are known for and
Twista’s smooth lyrical stylings. Howlett’s production
meshes well with Twista’s raps. Kool Keith puts in an
appearance on “Wake Up Call,” and his quirky
contribution gives the otherwise aimless and scattered track some
direction. Howlett proves he can stand on his own two feet with the
catchy song “Action, Radar,” and performs an
interesting — but ultimately unsatisfying — experiment
with the song “Medusa’s Path,” which samples
Iranian composer Rookalah Khalegi’s recordings from the
1930s.

The rest of the songs on this album are infinitely less
inspired. Howlett has slopped together enough songs to fill in the
gaps left by his stronger tracks, but that’s all. The dismal
second song, “Girl,” is the most underwhelming song on
the album. “Shoot Down,” if it does anything, it
reminds us that Liam Gallagher should never enter a recording
studio without his brother Noel. Although Howlett tries to keep
things interesting, the songs are muddy and run together. The fact
remains that they are boring to listen to, and even after some
drunken experimentation, impossible to dance to.

Making dance music that is lethargic and saggy is not an easy
thing to do, yet The Prodigy have succeeded in doing just that. A
key component to techno music is energy, and Always Outnumbered,
Never Outgunned lacks exactly that.Although there are some happy
accidents on this album, Howlett fails in his attempt to restore
The Prodigy to their early ’90s glory.

 

Rating: 1 and 1/2 out of 5 stars

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