Twenty years ago Underworld's fourth album Second Toughest In The Infants was a revelation during my formative teenage years. Nothing had sounded like Underworld before or since that landmark record. However after a six-year hiatus Karl Hyde and Rick Smith seem to have finally bottled the same magic for a second time. Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future, is of course a very different record though. This time it's from the perspective of two men who are well into their fifties, but is pushes the same buttons as Second Toughest to create something quite beautiful.
Barbara Barbara pivots around the shortest and only instrumental track to be found on the album. The classical guitar plucking on 'Santiago Cuatro' bridges the two very distinct halves of the record. It's like standing back and watching the sunrise as the darkness we've come to expect from Karl Hyde's manic street poetry fades to reveal something hopeful and life affirming. The overall narrative of these seven songs pays perfect tribute to the album title itself, which was a message of hope from Smith's dying father to his wife. It's an album that has been sequenced in a very particular way to deliver that shining future in its very final minutes. I can only imagine that the shuffle tendency of digital music will only be detrimental to the overall mood that the record creates.
Opening track 'I Exhale' throws you into the deep end instantly, the industrial beats and bass heavy production brings to mind a hectic night out. There's a feeling that the song has already been playing somewhere else for hours before the opening seconds, it's like you're eavesdropping on a party that's already well underway when you press play. Hyde's stream of consciousness lyrics create a hypnotic tapestry of images, his strength as a lyricist isn't telling a cohesive story, rather translating some of the synesthesia he famously suffers from into a rapid-fire series of words and associations. These first three songs are the Underworld we're mostly familiar with: dark, industrial, and wonderfully atmospheric. Hyde sums it up perfectly on 'I Exhale' with the simple phrase "corrugated rhythms". The first twenty-two minutes of Barbara Barbara are like a greatest hits set cramming in everything about Underworld that sounds familiar. Ultimately though that's not the highlight of the album.
Continue reading: Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future Album Review
Kate Beckinsale will star in the upcoming 'Underworld 5'.
Kate Beckinsale will be reprising her role as the vampire Selene in the fifth instalment of the Underworld franchise. Beckinsale has starred in the past four parts of the successful action-horror franchise.
Kate Beckinsale is set to star in Underworld 5.
Continue reading: Kate Beckinsale Reprising Role As Selene In 'Underworld 5'
Ride and The Strokes will be joined by The Black Keys, Patti Smith, The Replacements and more.
Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.
Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.
Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!
Apprehension is the buzz word on the short ride down to The Forum, as the latest chapter to the Underworld story, Barking, sits very close to the 'cheese' side of the deli counter. A series of collaborations from the sublime, tonight's support 'Appleblim,' to the questionable, Paul Van Dyk (more from him later), the mostly song driven affair is, at best, passable. The latest episode of The Inbetweeners was my 13th favourite if you get what I mean.
Continue reading: Underworld, The Forum, 16/09/10 Live Review
Underworld - Carl Hyde of Underworld Jersey City, New Jersey - All Points West Festival at Liberty State Park - Day 1 Friday 8th August 2008