The work of Norman Cook (a.k.a. Fatboy Slim among many different recording aliases) was extremely hard to avoid in the late 1990s.
Along with fellow Brits The Chemical Brothers, he produced some of the biggest crossover dance floor fillers, building a huge following for the so-called ‘Big Beat’ sound.
I had a predilection for seeking Cook out, given his past life as bass player for the much under-rated Housemartins.
The similarity between that poppy outfit and his reincarnation as a DJ and pastiche artist rests on his innate knack for finding a very, very catchy hook. As Fatboy any subtlety is thrown out the window, as he beats us around the ears with ludicrously contagious catchphrases and musical riffs.
The singles on here are true benchmarks in commercially viable dance music, passing that test of working outside the club environs. The opening two tracks (Right Here, Right Now and Rockafeller Skank) are pretty irresistable:
The rest of the album doesn’t engage at the same level. Praise You is much less compelling without the video. Gangster Tripping comes closest to the gems, while too many of the others feel only marginally distinguished.
File under: The trip gets a little tiring