CD: Fatboy Slim, Palookaville


The amiable Norman Cook has grown rich on the proceeds of one idea - he pastes together a vocal line from Song A and a rhythm track (could be funk, could be house) from Song B, creating an irritatingly catchy Song C (eg 1998's Rockafeller Skank). It's been four years since Cook's last album, which is exactly the time it has taken for "Check it out now, the funk soul brother" to stop whirling around one's head.

Presumably, Fatboy intends to restart the process with album number three. There are fewer samples than before, more live vocals (Damon Albarn drifts through the African-flavoured Put It Back Together) and, for the first time, real instruments, on the Toploaderish Long Way from Home. But nearly half the songs are traditional Cook cut-and-paste jobs. North West Three, dedicated to wife Zoe Ball, samples Beverley Martin's Primrose Hill, and Don't Let the Man is lifted from the little-remembered but intensely annoying 70s hippy "anthem" Signs. It's not enough this time around, though, simply to tack on computer-generated beats. Luckily, the "live" half suggests that he knows this and is addressing the problem.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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