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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > FREE LONG LIVE VINYL ISSUE > The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers

After the disappointment of the past three albums, Rowlands and Simons return to form wiTha banging display of renewed vitality. John Earls bows down to a late-period masterpiece

NO GEOGRAPHY

VIRGIN/EMI

Over their previous three albums, it had appeared The Chemical Brothers were content to become a heritage act operating, in the studio at least, to diminishing returns. We Are The Night was Chems-bynumbers. Further was at least an interesting experiment, where Tom Rowlands started singing, but was too downbeat to thrive.

Most recently, 2015’s Born In The Echoes started to get them back on track. But Ed Simons didn’t tour it, focusing instead on academic work. Simons was replaced on stage by Adam Smith, their longtime visuals exec, who is more used to directing Doctor Who and Dickensian BBC1 period dramas than manipulating banks of keyboards. BoThSimons and Rowlands spoke openly about possible retirement.

Then came last year’s shows at Alexandra Palace. The pair met at university, so perhaps it’s apposite Simons’ academia has seemingly revived the duo’s hunger. Those concerts were a spectacular reminder of why The Chemical Brothers are the best live act pure dance music has to offer. Were they busy transferring that energy to the studio? Yes. Yes, they were. No Geography is comfortably The Chemical Brothers’ best album since 2005’s Push The Button, ranking wiThthat and Dig Your Own Hole as their greatest work.

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Welcome to this free sample issue of Long Live Vinyl, THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Every month, we bring you a diverse selection of the latest vinyl news, expert columnists, artist interviews, features on the UK's independent record shops and labels, as well as the widest range of new album, reissue, turntable and accessory reviews anywhere on the newsstand. We're the only magazine solely dedicated to all things vinyl.