Sound — 8
After a long period of the creative silence The Prodigy released their fourth album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. It was a long-awaited release for the genuine fans of the rave movement. But it seems that new album didn't engender the exceeding interest of the audience. (Heh, even a diehard fan can forgot about how big was The Prodigy back in 90's). Anyway, let's put a deeper look on the record.
At the begining of The Prodigy's music career, listeners haven't been so tempted with the variety of any music innovations. The band became the pioneer in lively creative music style, integrating so novel agressive dance themes and so popular by that time punk music. That was a great advantage and served a powerful incentive for The Prodigy to achieve a success. Their previous releases made a furore in the human minds. Probably there were some unbiased reasons to make a pause -- which had been lasting for 7 years -- but being on the wave crest, it was an obvious mistake to make it so long.
Ok, it's enough to moan of the past years' glory, all the more The Prodigy still has something to show off on Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. Echoes of The Fat of The Land all over the album, unrestrained loud and harsh tones is what will dash you off with your first listening. In one of the latest interviews, Keith Flint told the band will back to the roots of the classic Experience. He lied -- there are still plenty for fans of rock/punk music. Otherwise, I doubt you will read this on guitar website, huh.
With Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned Prodigy kinda repudiate from their latest electro-punk themes and throw in a few music innovations -- a few heavy riffs and some hip-hop soundings here and there and you can put "experimental" mark on the box. Special guests such as Liam and Noel Gallagher from Oasis (on track "Shoot Down") and Juliette Lewis (on track "Wake Up Call") make even the most tried listener to smile. The sad thing is that the album is far from being a good effort to come back -- with such a long delay, you can excusably anticipate something revolutionary. There are too many alike projects out there, meaning they can no longer claim to be as excitingly different as they once were. But on Always Outnumbered you can find tracks that worth you attention, especially "Hot Ride" and funny tune "Shoot Down."
Lyrics — 6
Lyrics have never been a powerful side of The Prodigy. They are weak, but aren't worse than on most of their albums -- just a certain addition to the music to not keep it heavy. As to Flint's voice -- it's as usually heavy distorted. The track "Shoot Down" is most "outstanding" here in terms of vocal skills -- it features punk screaming of Liam Gallagher and makes you fun.
Overall Impression — 6
It isn't quite understandable what they are trying to do here -- we have always loved them for not being a stagnant, starting from their dancing and invigorative Experience and ending with electro-punk experiments on The Fat Of The Land, they had something in the lader to bring up to the masses when it gets bored. It was always different to anyting you had ever heard -- even for headbanging Metallica fan it was not shameful to have one of their records. Undoubtly, there are some racy addons to the Prodigy of the last years, but it's not an evolution.
If you know what they used to be - you'll be disappointed ...and that's not a problem at all. Just express your respect to this old electropunk guru.