Allegedly found in a long-forgotten cache of music recorded by a mythical jam outfit from the ‘70s onwards, this album sounds suspiciously fresh. It was co-produced by Norman Cook, and has all the radio-friendliness associated with his output as Fatboy Slim—one of those records where almost every track sounds like a potential single.
The CD bristles with big names and diverse styles, from the Stones-y R&B of the opener, “He’s Frank (Slight Return),” featuring Iggy Pop, to the reggae rhythms of Martha Wainwright’s “Spade.” A collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal is tucked away at the end, while Connan Mockasin comes over both plaintive and insistently paranoid in “Jumps The Fence,” a kind of hallucinatory pop ballad.
Overall, the differences settle into a whole that’s jaunty, good-natured and virtually impossible to skip. Although this is partly a result of the production—the album is full of attention to detail and restlessness with textures—it’s also a feature of the way in which each track matches perfect melodies or arrangements with enough uniqueness and challenge to keep the listener hooked. Music geeks and metalheads need not apply; everyone else, however, will find plenty here to keep them more than happy.