Fatboy Slim

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way, Baby ©1998 Skint Records
1. Right Here, Right Now
2. Rockefeller Skank
3. Fucking In Heaven
4. Gangster Tripping
5. Build It Up - Tear It Down
6. Kalifornia
7. Soul Surfing
8. You're Not From Brighton
9. Praise You
10. Love Island
11. Acid 8000
12. How Could They Hear Us (bonus Track)

Formerly known as the bassist for the Housemartins, Norman Cook has since reinvented himself as one of the more prominent members of what some have dubbed "Brit-hop". His relatively inventive music offers quite an quagmire of genre hopping based on a trip-hop theme and offers moments of genius through a haze of overindulgence. The man's musical background does help in constructing a style of music that is, well, musical, rather than monotonous beats and electronic burps that pass for techno. However, his music also tends to drift into maniacal, aggravating territory that may cause less patient listeners to fling his CDs against the wall as a form of defiance.

You've Come a Long Way, Baby, the second full length release from Fatboy Slim, is a mixture of the two sides of the spectrum. The album features some downright excellent tracks but on the flipside, some of this music makes me want to sneak into his studio at night and erase superfluous tracks. For example, the CD starts with two great numbers, "Rockefeller Skank" and "Right Here, Right Now". Both of these songs are well textured, layered, developed and executed. However, the following tracks are repetitive, plundering, full of annoying voices and samples. These tracks make me froth with frustration. Of course, being the proactive music listener that I am, I find it to be no trouble in hitting the skip button, so conveniently located to my right. The lesser tracks simply lack the more epic, flowing nature of his better songs. Thus, the excessive tendencies that are very aggravating for at least some of us. In effect, the songs that have become familiar hits for club goers and anyone who is around people fancying themselves as "hip" or "in the know" are the ones that show off Cook's better moments.

Worth getting at a low, used CD price for the good songs, You've Come a Long Way, Baby proves that Cook still has a ways to go in his quest for brilliant hoppy electronic music. Fatboy Slim is also a bit hard to justify having around in his entirety when you could very well go pick up DJ Shadow instead.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2002

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