Underworld: Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future – album review
Underworld were always the more cerebral of the crop of big beasts who dominated dance music from the 1990s on. While they had a penchant for bangers, it was bangers with a twist which became their calling-card.
On their ninth album, and their first as Underworld in six years, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith demonstrate that they’ve still got those old smarts when it comes to productions that pack a punch and a thump, but there’s a vivid new energy also in the wash.
Album opener and closer I Exhale and Nylon Strung are scene- setters in the classic sense, both exuding menace and delirium in equal measures, with Hyde’s freeform lyrics more than equal to the momentum. Elsewhere, tracks like Motorhome and Low Burn come fully formed with beautiful shapes and eloquent rig-outs.