Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Middle Of Nowhere, The
Genre: Dance & Electronic
Middle Of Nowhere, The by ORBITAL
Middle Of Nowhere, The by ORBITAL
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A Dream Deferred...
Daniel Staton | Berkeley, CA USA | 12/02/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ask anyone to name the most innovative and influential band in the history of rock and chances are they'll name the Beatles. Believe or not, I think Orbital had/has the same trailblazing potential. Sadly, that potential is squandered on their latest release. Some people have hailed "Middle of Nowhere" as Orbital's return to their roots, to the danceable, straightforward style that put them on the map in the first place. They're right: as a collection of driving, catchy, psychedelic dance tunes, the album is a success. But Orbital is capable of much, much more. On their previous two releases, "In Sides" and "Snivilization," the band demonstrated an ability to craft sophisticated, subtle, immensely moving compositions that transcended the narrow confines of the dance/trance genre. Each song was not only complete in itself, passing through many changes in rhythm and structure yet managing to build to an incredible conclusion, but all the tracks fit together to form a coherent musical statement. "MoN" shares none of the elegance of its predecessors; ethereal vocals are repeated ad nauseum, beats are continuous and unremarkable, all the spaces where the songs might be allowed to breathe are filled with odd noises, white noise, and other clutter. Worst of all, with the possible exception of "Style," none of the tracks moved me in any way. Admittedly, some of them did sound kind of "cool," but cool only goes so far. To return to the Beatles analogy, "Snivilization" and "In Sides" might be compared to "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper's," while "MoN" is "The Magical Mystery Tour." In short, if you're looking for nothing more than a dance album, you'll probably like this one, and it may even expand your horizons, but if you're looking for a knock-your-socks-off, brain-warping musical odyssey, pick up "In Sides" and then "Snivilization," and prepare to be blown away."
Lorin Reed | moreno valley, CA United States | 12/14/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everything about this album boasts time and effort, and this becomes apparent the moment one pops it in and hears the opening track "Way Out". I dont remember what i was expecting the first time I listened, but i do know that i had decided Orbital to be my most favorite electronic outfit of all time. Their earlier albums were all amazing, especially "In-sides", whcih blew me away. In my opinion, they had broken into new territory with both Snivilisation and Insides, and I couldn't wait to hear what they'd kept in store for "Middle of Nowhere". I couldn't wait to hear how they'd 'evolved'.When I first heard the opening track, I was ecstatic. It had everything. It was mellodic in the most beautiful way, it had the perfect drum loops, and it feautured a really nice female vocal sample. I was impressed. I listened to the rest, and I'd decided that this was without a doubt, some of Orbital's finest material. It captured both the oddness of Snivilisation, and the under-your-skin catchiness of their self-titled albums 1 and 2. Everything sounded inreadibly refined, and i was sure that they'd evolved, and in a damned good way.Now, I review this album having listened to it many many times. Of course, nothing soudns as impressive to me as it did the first couple times, and I'm noticing certain pieces of songs that the album could have done without. There are points in the album where I wish Orbital had decided to do something more creative, and throw in a different drum loop, or spice things up a little by shortening a couple of the track's lengths, and throwing in some new material. But thats a really picky thing for me to say, and beggars can't always be choosers. Especially considering the amount of time that i DID enjoy this album with so much enthusiasm. Tracks like "nothing left" and "otono" still keep me listening, and I highly recommend Middle of Nowhere to everyone. It doesn't have the lasting appeal that made In-Sides such a huge success, but it still scores very high in my book."
Orbital's best album?
Richard Diaz | 08/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After six albums and thirteen years of music, enough has been said by now on seminal electronic dance band Orbital, British blokes Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Listening to their work anew, the 1999 release Middle of Nowhere is (begin argument here) their best work. Perhaps too much a reiteration of past ideas, or bereft of historical relevance ala the Brown Album, but packing the technical sophistication to make it an ideal starting point. All well and good, but how do you describe their signature sound? 1. Orbital are a trance band. "Way Out" and "Nothing Left" shows their penchant for 8-minute epic stirrings, with pristine synth work and the soaring vocal inflections of Barbara Cohen and (notably) Alison Goldfrapp, though the Spanish horns on "Way Out" and intricate drum programming of "Nothing Left" add an edge smoothed out of most commercial trance. 2. They're breakbeat artists. Just look at the rock drummer attitude of "Don't Know You People." There's a reason why Adam Freeland, the Plump DJs and likeminded artists all get the call for remixes; Orbital rarely hold a straight, simple drum pattern, though their soundscapes are too clean to ever call funky. Hence the beefy revisions for clubbers. And oddly, Orbital rarely use pronounced bass, making their music (especially on Middle of Nowhere) more home-friendly than dance floor minded. The exception: "Know Where to Run," with giant hoover-bass sweeps propelling it with racetrack rush. 3.They're new age noodlers. Overeager synth lines and exuberant production often lead to hodge-podge tracks crammed with half ideas (exactly, "Spare Parts Express) bearing wonky keys and acid burps. Closer "Styles" tinkers four minutes away before getting off the couch to do something. 4. They make music that defies categories. That's most of Middle of Nowhere. And when the results come together, as in the stuttery-breaks, hauntingly sublime centerpiece "Otono," well, that's why you buy Orbital albums."