Friday, September 17, 2004

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

Prodigy's Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned was finally released Tuesday, September 14, 2004, effectively ending the controversial seven years that have passed since the group's previous release, the landscape-flattening Fat of the Land. As I alluded to back last month, Prodigy's sound has changed considerably. Gone completely are Keith Flint's raging vocals that made the singles Firestarter, Smack My Bitch Up and Breathe such distinctive and striking songs. Instead, the central core of Prodigy, Liam Howlett, has gone back to the electronic origins of Prodigy and created an entirely new, if flashed-back, beast. The result is an enjoyable, heavy, big beat electronic album that is not going to please everyone, but is enjoyable in its own special way. I have always been a big fan of the 1994 Prodigy album Music for the Jilted Generation and if Outnumbered resembles any previous Prodigy release, it's Jilted. I really, really like Outnumbered. Sure, I would have liked to have seen more of Keith in the band (I must be one of the few who liked last year's Baby's Got a Temper) but it's OK to have Prodigy still be true to its own roots rather than to be a pale imitation of itself. And it's wonderful to have them back since, for a while there, I thought they were goners.

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