The Chemical Brothers Singles 93-03

The Chemical Brothers Singles 93-03
Not quite a greatest hits record or an accurate gathering of all their past 12-inches, Singles is a curious compilation for the Chemicals. The first half of this outing is fantastic as it focuses on Exit Planet Dust and Dig Your Own Hole; the first two full-lengths from Tom and Ed and easily their finest and most exciting period. Once Noel Gallagher’s second attempt with the Brothers’ "Let Forever Be” rings in, this mix tends to sink quickly into a mess of electronic psychedelic pop which, pending how you like your Chemicals, is tragic to listen to. Since this duo blew up in a way that no one was expecting, and basically gave birth to mainstream "electronica,” the Chemical Brothers were treated like rock stars and went from faceless pioneers of the underground to having their faces plastered on the front covers of magazines. Their music suffered and went from a primarily instrumental force to be reckoned with to backing music for the likes of Richard Ashcroft and the Flaming Lips. There really isn’t much reason for Singles to be picked up by Chemical fans, other than the fact that a couple of ho-hum sneak peeks from their new record have been tacked on at the end, including an electro-hip-hop jam with K-OS that is interesting, but ultimately a wasted opportunity. With some of their best material released as singles in the past, such as the stunning "Loops of Fury” or "Life is Sweet,” it’s confusing as to the purpose of this incomplete record. Nothing more than some familiar hits mixed in with their boring rock collaborations, Singles serves very little purpose other than a marketing tool to get people geared-up for their 2004 release. (Virgin)