Rowlands and Simons prove yet again that they are the unchallenged lords of the dance.
As with most good records, No Geography has some immediate high points but reveals more gems with each new listen. This record feels like the continuation of a winning streak that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Nearly 30 years in the game and there is no slowing of pace, failures in judgement or nostalgia seeping into their musical output.
Having seen them live twice recently – just before and then as part of this album tour – I can vouch for the fact the live show only seems to be increasing in intensity, life and scale – and it was already the thing of legends. Watching the broadcast of the Glastonbury set, which fell only a few weeks after the All Points East I attended, it seemed their favourite stage only further invigorated the creative flair of the duo.
Got to Keep On is the clear leader from the record and already a live favourite. No Geography itself is a beautiful track with vaguely uplifting liberal lyrics and overall has a hint Underworld’s Born Slippy in structure and change but more balanced and made for a Sunday evening.
The low point comes at almost exactly the half way mark in the record as “I came in” repeats and repeats seemingly forever with no musical bed on the end of The Universe Sent Me. It is otherwise a decent track, but maybe 3-4 fewer there?
We’ve Got to Try is another clear highlight with it’s Jackson 5, 70’s pop/soul style vocal over a strings bed leading the listener into a juxtaposed dirty, heavy rhythm and beat. This a precursor though to the 2 lead singles to the album Free Yourself – released before the album was even announced – and MAH the lead single proper. Free Yourself is reminiscent of Get Yourself High in it’s vocal. MAH is a bit of a rough listen on record if you aren’t pumped up (it’s brilliant if you are!) but translates live show spectacularly.
Further was my entry proper to Chemical Brothers. I had it booming in my car. No Geography would be a record of choice for my car everyday – if I still had one.