"Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned"

(Maverick 2004)Prodigy - Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

Let us face it. Long gone are the days of "Smack My Bitch Up" and "Firestarter." This is a new Prodigy. Or is it? Blending club and rock for a new variety of electronic music, The Prodigy creates music that quickens your pulse. With a number of guest appearances from the worlds of rock and rap, "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned" is loud, fast and dirty "“ just like it should be.

The Prodigy burst into action through "Spitfire" with heavy industrial rock instrumentation. "Cause you know that I can," a voice says, self-assuredly, at points through the song; the band's philosophy, perhaps? Old school meshes with new on "Girls," using a buzzing bass line and a catchy shrill melody. Slower, but still preserving the intensity the prior tracks have built, "Memphis Bells" has a heavy bass thumping background accented by what one could imagine to be a chorus of empty wine glasses banging. A broad and tough rapping style dominates "Get Up Get Off," a more vocally oriented track compared to previous songs. The hard hitting sound of "Get Up Get Off" when compared to the bubblegum pop turned upside down of "Hot Ride" has its effect. Catchy and poppy, actress turned singer Juliette Lewis takes over on vocals, alternating between sugary softness and screaming, on "Hot Ride," which includes a rerecorded sample of The Fifth Dimension's "Up, Up and Away."

Rhythmic and using a measured pace, "Wake Up Call" is aptly peppered with alarms while the band engages you with "Action Radar," an, instrumentally, simpler tune. Whizzing and screaming electronic pulses make up the foreground of "Medusa's Path" as the background is something like an old epic movie's soundtrack for an interesting and intriguing song. "(You'll Be) Under My Wheels" and "The Way It Is" are catchy with their simple repetitiveness, the latter full of thumping bass and a more upbeat sound. Meanwhile, Oasis hoodlum Liam Gallagher guest on the heavy and rock influenced "Shoot Down."

Each song is made of so many layers that the interesting part is their construction and destruction as the song progresses. While the band gets right in your face, actively challenging you on the first half of the album, they seem to sit on your shoulder, whispering in your ear during the second half. Never too self-indulgent, "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned" is smart, strong and enjoyable. Never relying too heavily on recycled rhythms and melodies, the band balances old and new well. The Prodigy show again they have more to offer than catchy pulsing beats and thumping rhythms.


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