UK dancefloor overlords The Chemical Brothers have returned in style after a four-year break, and gone back to their roots with the hearty and polished offering No Geography.
After copping criticism for moving in a indie pop direction with 2015's Born in the Echoes, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons have bounced back with their ninth studio album making a welcome return to their big-beat electronica origins.
The 10-track record leads you down a familiar psychedelic party trail full of synthesizers and percussion blasts, with guest vocals by Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora and Japanese rapper Nene. Well-placed samples of audience noise, and smatterings of background chatter give it a live atmosphere and layers of club nostalgia.
No Geography opens with the futuristic intro to Eve of Destruction which gives way to an acid house-style vocal line, but head straight to track eight for the first single Free Yourself to kick-start your party with a dance floor classic.
The album's name is borrowed from New York poet Michael Brownstein's Geography poem, with his own reading of his work sampled throughout the blissfully optimistic title track.
The second single MAH conjures the funk style that flavoured their Brothers Gonna Work It Out compilation from 1998, and the third single, Got to Keep On, builds slowly before revealing an infectious jingle in the main riff.
The album's throwback feel comes after The Chemical Brothers blew the dust off old gear used to create their first two records, Exit Planet Dust and Dig Your Own Hole. Having moved the ageing equipment inside a separate room built within their studio, the duo were able to experiment and work on their tunes as they did in the early days of their 30-year career.
If you were to write down a recipe for a classic Chemical Brothers album, No Geography hits the mark in keeping things familiar as well as adventurous and new.
The Chemical Brothers, No Geography
The Chemical Brothers
A terrific return to form for the Manchester big beat pioneers.