Search - Propellerheads :: Decksandrumsandrockandroll

Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Since the Chemical Brothers explosion, new big-beat acts from the U.K. are greeted with skepticism, but Propellerheads are no copycats. Alex Gifford and Will White did the usual groundwork by releasing singles and EPs befo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Propellerheads
Title: Decksandrumsandrockandroll
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 5
Label: Dreamworks
Original Release Date: 3/24/1998
Release Date: 3/24/1998
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
Styles: Electronica, Big Beat, Trip-Hop, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 600445003125, 5028589004726, 758148005516, 766484716720

Since the Chemical Brothers explosion, new big-beat acts from the U.K. are greeted with skepticism, but Propellerheads are no copycats. Alex Gifford and Will White did the usual groundwork by releasing singles and EPs before giving up a full album. The groovy single "History Repeating," featuring '60s cabaret vocalist Shirley Bassey, plays slightly into the lounge revival of the late '90s but with a James Bond-esque style that grabs attention similar to Portishead's "Sour Times." The recurring spy film theme makes this a perfect soundtrack for Austin Powers's first rave--"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is actually a Bond remake. Propellerheads also slip in full-on "rock" jams ("Bang On!") and slick urban cut-ups reminiscent of De La Soul, who appear on "360° (Oh Yeah?)." Shifting tempos from laidback to lightning-fast with exceptional ease, Decksandrumsandrockandroll is a solid collection of funky, jazzy, hip-hop-influenced dance music that has earned its mainstream acceptance by delivering the goods. --Liisa Ladouceur

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Matt F. from LE CLAIRE, IA
Reviewed on 8/20/2006...
Beats to ruin your speakers. Thumper.

CD Reviews

And they played records
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 05/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Big beats. Hip-hop. James Bond. That's the description of the Propellerheads' "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll," a wildly enticing album that mixes dance music with a James Bondian atmosphere. Its crossover appeal and originality are very good, but the raw energy is the icing on the cake.

A cheerful, sputtering radio sample opens the album, before leading into a gritty maze of electrobeats and percussion, interspersed with samples. It's heavy stuff, but still fun. Things reach their heaviest point near the end when jazz rhythms are mingled with deep vocal samples and some blisteringly raw electronic buzzes.

It gets more fun in the second song, "Velvet Pants," a vaguely jazzy song with the constant repetition, "He's got a nice body, he's wearing velvet pants... Send the first kid down, send the first kid down, and they played records."A more openly hip-hoppy sound enters with the pleasantly slackerish "360° (Oh Yeah?)", while "Winning Style" has a glitzier, faster tone.

The best songs of all are the ones with a distinctly James Bondian flair: "History Repeating" is a wonderfully overwrought lounge-dance song, with Shirley Bassey roaring that, "And I've seen it before/and I'll see it again/just little bits of history repeating!" Same with spy dance-track "Spybreak." But things reach their peak with "In Her Majesty's Secret Service," a ten minute opus that mingles majestic retro with big beat fun, complete with an orchestral brass climax.

If it sounds fun, that's because it is.

Kitschy electronica is one of the easiest kinds of music to mess up, especially if there's sampling going on. Give it a theme, and it's even harder. But the Propellerheads pull this incredibly engaging album with rare style and skill, pulling together spy flair with disparate musical styles -- who would pair funky dance beats with an epic brass section? Apparently they would -- and it works.

The Propellerheads veer wildly from one style to another, sometimes mingling styles. Rather than sounding messy and fragmented, they create densely-constructed, dancey songs. And they know just how often to repeat a sample, and where to place it, just to keep the beats and rhythms from seeming repetitive.

The Propellerheads have yet to create a follow-up to "Decksanddrumsandrockandroll" but this one is enough to keep fans raving. Wildly original, full of raw energy and lots of fun."
Makes my day better... EVERYTIME!
A Seema | from perhaps some concrete jungle extraordinaire.. | 01/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is gooooood music! I have been listening to this for years and it never gets old!
It gets you going and makes you happy! (warning: if you don't like driving fast don't put this in your car - it's a much better workout/morning alarm/be happy thing)
You might have heard some of this from the Matrix movie in those slow/fluid/powerful/raw action scenes.
I like many kinds of good music, from Ella Fitzgerald to Alice in Chains (Dirt), to Evanessence, and back around to Gershwin, so whatever your taste is just close your eyes, buy this, take that leap and you'll never look back."