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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Prodigy
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
Maverick/XL Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I'm burnt out! Seriously! I've just acquired this new gig with Lost At Sea and I have nothing remotely uplifting to contribute to the site. I have written a number of reviews over the last 2 years and yet, at this moment, I can't seem to shake the depressing and overpowering demons that haunt my words. I was looking forward to blowing the minds of every reader that visited this site, and maybe gain a new fan base for myself that wasn't available in the past. All I can say is that my failure can be measured by the lack of commitment I have to what I once obsessed in doing. Furthermore, I can't commit to accepting that this is just a transition phase, just a bump in the road. I'm doomed and I know it. I trudge along blindly, never paying attention to the justification behind my words. Well, al least I'm not alone. In fact, I can be closely compared to another struggling artist in today's parallel between underground and mainstream, reality and make-believe.

I can envision it now, I'm sitting in a circle with a plethora of different people, all sharing the same problem: lack of creative ability. But today, there is a newcomer: a face I've seen before, but with our unfortunate support group for the first time. I remember him from a while ago, but back then he wasn't alone. He used to parade with a strange and unusual gang of misfits - a bunch of chaotic and mischievous poster boys. Let's see, hmm... Oh yeah, one was named Flint, Keith Flint. He was the most diabolical member of the group, sporting a comical snarl and a serious case of camera theft from the rest of the group. The other two, hmm... Yes, Leeroy and Maxim, a couple of gangly dancers. But where are they now? The only person left from this crew is the quarterback - oh yeah, now I remember, Liam Howlett, that's it! What happened, and why is he with the likes of us poor unimaginative losers?

Then he stands up!

"Hi, my name is Liam and I'm lacking creativity." We all stand up and applaud. Is that a good thing? Why are we applauding his lack of creativity? "It has been 7 years since my last creative effort, and I have yet to produce anything worth mentioning. In fact, my new album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, is the most unimaginative work I have done in years, and I know it." Really?

So I got a copy of The Prodigy's latest album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned and decided to see for myself if Mr. Howlett spoke the truth at our meeting. But before I deeply analyzed his latest offering, I rekindled The Prodigy's past efforts from indie electronic gods to mainstream street punks.

In 1996, electronic music was the shit. No one disregarded or overlooked the work of The Prodigy and any other electronica band at the time. While Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers and Moby glued the underground to the mainstream, The Prodigy's art electro-punk was a harder pill to swallow. Music lovers understood The Prodigy's mainstream appeal, and most praised The Fat Of The Land as one of the most convincing turning points in electronic music ever. Who else could perform live at fashion awards? But as time faded, so did the charm and fascination of this futuristic sound structure.

It is now 2004, and Liam Howlett is the only member of the original The Prodigy left. While the theatric of Keith Flint certainly will not be missed, I can't conjure any reason why The Prodigy would be successful in re-emerging at this particular time. Electronica is officially dead, or has mutated to an overabundance of Ambient performers, creating lush and captivating music that is soothing to the ear. The Prodigy's grinding sound has not altered since 1997, remaining an acquired taste. While bangers like "Get Up Get Off" and the first single "Girls" reawaken their mission statement, most of Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned lacks any forward thinking at all. And what makes matters worse is that this record has taken 7 years to make. Is this creativity?

Perhaps The Prodigy has neglected to adapt to the changes affecting music performers in today's indie culture. Still, I can't seem to understand why a talented and extremely gifted music inventor could become such a lackluster performer. That is why we were all together in a supportive circle. We need help, and Liam Howlett knows that. With all of the theatrics dissipating with the absence of Mr. Flint, all Liam can do is make his music move people. Unfortunately, he has failed. Ahh, Liam, how we are two peas in a pod!

Reviewed by Kevin Crepeault


See other reviews by Kevin Crepeault

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