The “Barking” Reviews, Round 1

Published: by Khouri.

Born Dirty brings you a tasting menu of the first round of Barking reviews.

That Barking is not an unqualified success is hardly surprising, but it does show Underworld reinvigorated to make music for dancefloors. Which, as anyone who has raved to “King Of Snake” will testify, is no bad thing. [Link]

Barking, their sixth album since 1994, shows a band trying very hard to match former glories and fairly often succeeding… Kudos to Underworld for reaching out to others for inspiration – but they could’ve picked a bit more discerningly; definitely an album to play pick’n’mix with. [Link]

Although this is hardly Underworld at its finest, the duo’s songwriting fits the mainstream productions and results in a solid dance album for the 2010s — music for aging-raver activities like driving cars, pushing swings, or jogging on treadmills. [Link]

What Underworld always retain is a unique warmth that exudes in great generous pulses from everything they do. There’s a lightness and a jollity about their music which combines with an unabashed poignancy, and there’s a sense of deep contentment and peace about this album. [Link]

…with production help from High Contrast, Dubfire, and Paul Van Dyk, Underworld is freed up to focus on crafting memorable tunes that hark back to their electronica heyday, as well as more personal, coherent lyrics. Earnest emotions surprisingly suit these dance-floor surrealists. [Link]

This record can be seen as a work of celebration – celebrating the fact that they are still producing music and paying homage to the new and current generation of DJs and producers – while residing in the comforting notion that they have already proven all that they have to prove. [Link]

…the songs here are a harmonious marriage of the classic, propulsive Underworld sound and the kind of techniques and textures that postdate most of their career. It’s interesting that an album with so much outside input highlights the band’s populist, maximalist side. [Link]

Thanks to Dirty Forums member Bargo for tracking down many of these reviews.