The Shrubbery
July 1999
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Underworld -- Beaucoup Fish

A review by Jason Morrison

Chances are you like Underworld. Everyone seems to, even if they don't know who Underworld is. Most people have come across them in the form of their song, "Born Slippy," on the Trainspotting soundtrack.

Unfortunately, their new album Beaucoup Fish doesn't really have anything as memorable as "Born Slippy," though it is more consistently good Underworld.

The first track, "Cups," is a pretty good metaphor for the whole album. At first it's got no direction and though it's not particularly bad, it's not really good either. But by the end of the song, via layer upon layer of additional sounds and new beats, it is transformed-into a much, much better song.

Which is like the album in general. When I first listened to it, it just kind of drifted pleasantly around in the background. Re-listening for this review I noticed there was a lot more merit to it than I had assumed. But again, there's nothing quite catchy or exciting enough to pull the CD, as a whole, out of the background on it's own.

"Push Upstairs" is classic Underworld, and "Jumbo" is also very nice-it's quite soothing, and the vocal "click" (or something) is a nice touch. Track four, "Shudder/King of Snake," is one of my favorites on the album because of the upbeat techno dance groove as well as the eerie snake fighting conversation that floats past the music near the end. "Bruce Lee" is my favorite, and not just for the name-it's a bit funkier than the rest of the album and stands out. "Something Like a Mama" is also pretty good.

The rest of the tracks make very good reading music, but don't really stand on their own. All in all, this really is a good album, but like much of Underworld's music, it seems understated.

B+ [89%]

Buy Beaucoup Fish at Amazon.com!

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