It’s basically Christmas morning today — after four years, we finally get to behold another album from The Chemical Brothers, this time in the form of No Geography. Oscillating back and forth across the electronic music spectrum in terms of style, it feels like this is an album that meets existential dread with a dance. That existential dread takes on so many different forms, it seems appropriate that the dances also take on many different forms in terms of how the sound makes us want to move.
The album’s opener “Eve of Destruction” sets a tone that is both ominous and light-hearted, a pretty perfect encapsulation of No Geography‘s overall vibe. There’s a heavy, foreboding, and robotic mood set that soon opens up into bubbly, soulful reverie. The title track has that same robotic, monotone top-line over an ebullient, bright, synth-laden melody, which feels like a new iteration of The Chemical Brothers’ sound with more disco flair to the production that we’re used to. That flair is on full display on “The Universe Sent Me,” which is one of the most bright and groovy songs we’ve ever heard from the duo. The bassline has a deep, dark, classic Chemical Brothers feel, but it’s passing through a more sparkly, fancy-free soundscape.
The dynamic tension between the album’s apocalyptic themes and its soulful, life-affirming melodic tendencies make for quite an immersive listening experience. Looking out at the world with No Geography in my ears, I feel like whether the human race gets its shit together or not, I’m enjoying the heck out of my life and will continue to do so as long as we’re able. The album leaves us on a resigned but still hopeful note on “Catch Me I’m Falling,” driven by angelic vocal harmonies backed by an emotive and volatile synth. Dive in below.