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The Chemical Brothers 

Push the Button

Wednesday, Feb 16 2005
Push the Button marks the return of the electronica eclecticism the Chemical Brothers infected the masses with back in the halcyon, glow-stick-lit days of the mid-'90s. The album is littered with such ephemera as kung-fu gongs, funk-bass thwacks, electro jew's-harp whirs, cameos (from Bloc Party, Anwar Superstar, and others), indie-rock licks, and even some good ol'-fashioned "get me a bottle of water and someone to make out with" house beats. Push does lose its buzz in places: "The Big Jump," for example, doesn't do much more than prove the Brothers are aware that electroclash happened. But particularly in their inventive, sometimes downright gorgeous hip hop grooves -- Q-Tip waltzes with a Moroccan string sample on "Galvanize"; "Shake, Break, Bounce" breeds dancehall with more North African strings and an acoustic guitar -- the boys demonstrate their mastery of mélange, filling each measure with shivery waterfalls of sound while reining in their various and sundry references with a firm hook and an insistent beat.

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Rachel Devitt


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