Fat of the Land - Prodigy (The)

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Fat of the Land - Prodigy (The)

1 CD(s) - Electronic - Label: XL - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services - Released: 05/01/2004 - 634904012120

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88% positive

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Review of "Fat of the Land - Prodigy (The)"

published 28/11/2001 | TallTone
Member since : 16/06/2001
Reviews : 71
Members who trust : 146
About me :
Super
Pro Fat with hard-hitting tracks
Cons Fuel My Fire
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Lyrics
How does it compare to the artist's other releases

"Butter Merely Makes Us Fat"

Back in my university days, I existed almost exclusively on a musical diet of acid house and rock, but like proteins and carbohydrates should be, the two food groups were kept pretty much separate. Then acid died a death and it was not until The Prodigy released “Breathe” with its hard-hitting beats, fat bass and aggressive vocals that I remembered that electronica had anything worth offering; “Breathe the pressure/ Come play my game – I’ll test ya”. Here was a mix of musical protein and carbohydrate, and I gorged myself silly on it.

“The Fat of the Land” is nine tracks of sheer hard electronic bliss. Unfortunately, a tenth track, of such poor quality it is difficult to describe, has somehow managed to stowaway on this power journey. The attempt to sound like Johnny Rotten makes Keith Flint’s voice whingeing rather than threatening. “Fuel My Fire” is very definitely “off”.

That said, let’s take a look at the rest of the menu. The album opens with a real belter; “Smack My Bitch Up” features an incredible vocal performance in Bollywood-flick style from Shahin Bada. Alternate lines from MC Maxim Reality of “Change my picture/ Smack my bitch up” ride the forceful bassline and rebound effects to introduce Bada’s stunning voice.

Lyrics generally only appear as a garnish on most Prodigy dishes (although repeatedly applied), but “Diesel Power” has them in abundance. Maxim raps his way through a whole stack here; my favourite line has to be “My lyrical form is clouds on your brainstorm” though. “Blows your mind drastically, fantastically” alright.

Released as a single long before the album was allowed out, “Firestarter” took the chart by storm. Featuring a sample from the first single I ever put under the needle, Art of Noise’s “Close (to the Edit)”, and an in-your-face video, it gave rise to a thousand copycat “Devil’s horns” styles inspired by Flint’s outrageous Barnet arrangement.

The Prodigy are nothing if not relentless, and even when they switch styles to breakbeat, the bass still thuds on through. With its neo-Gregorian chant (trust me), “Narayan” is one of the best tracks on the album – this one will tickle your tweeters as well as work your woofers.

The inlay booklet also deserves a mention. Within its pages you will find some excellent photography, including superbly timed shots of the band in the throes of performance – and contrasting serene professional portraits. There’s also a Jake cartoon of the four (in addition to Flint and Maxim are Leeroy Thornhill, a dancer of 6’7”, and the band’s creator, Liam Howlett), the unusual wing-like fold out credits section, and of course words for the debate of steel or butter. Of course? Yes – that’s where the title of this opinion comes from; you just couldn’t remember where you’d seen it before, right?

The Prodigy have come a long way since the prodigious (but ultra-shy) Howlett released his remix of a public information film. Reeow? Radical for its time - at least in the mainstream, “The Fat of the Land” is still worthy of attention today.


Track Listing: Smack My Bitch Up, Breathe, Diesel Power, Funky Shit, Serial Thrilla, Mindfields, Narayan, Firestarter, Climbatize, Fuel My Fire

More info: http://www.theprodigy.org

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Comments on this review

  • footsoldier published 06/09/2006
    very helpful
  • tonguelessghostofsin published 19/10/2004
    Hey, you seem to know your dance styles, but the rapping on 'Smack my bitch up' and 'Diesel Power' is performed by Kool Keith/Doctor Octagon of Ultramagnetic MC's, not Maxim.
  • emmaclaire published 19/08/2003
    I love this album! Emma x
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Product Information : Fat of the Land - Prodigy (The)

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1 CD(s) - Electronic - Label: XL - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services - Released: 05/01/2004 - 634904012120

Product Details

EAN: 634904012120

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