Underworld -‘Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future.’ (Caroline International)
This year marks twenty years since Underworld’s most famous moment ‘Born Slippy’ was a massive hit, helped in no small part, if we’re honest, by its appearance in Trainspotting. The reality is, of course, that there was always more to Underworld than just that song, and that they were a dance act who had more vision and ideas than simply just producing a few bangers for nights out. With this album, Underworld underline that once more.
This is their first album in six years, and the reality is that this is an act who just sound totally invigorated. It opens with the first single ‘I Exhale’ and over the course of seven tracks and three quarters of an hour deliver music that is both for the head and feet, and indeed, ultimately the heart
The strong opening continues throughout the album. ‘If Rah’ is a hypnotic electro-workout, while the closing ‘Nylon Strung’ is a sublime finish to an excellent record.
The urge in the digital age may be to cherry-pick tracks or simply just move onto the next track. Not only does this album hold your attention, but when it’s over the urge is to play it once more. I was sent this album to review, but the fact of the matter is that if I had bought a copy, I would be thrilled. There’s scarcely a foot put wrong here. This is no 90s revival, but a modern record that should delight old fans and win new ones.
Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future is out now on Caroline International.