Chemical Brothers

The great thing about technology is its power to combine all the kinds of music you like into one cohesive song. Uncannily, the Chemical Brothers have accomplished this feat repeatedly, building around a genuine pop structure and cleverly managing to make a loop feel like a song, as on "Block-Rockin' Beats." On their fifth full-length, Push the Button, though, they seem to be merely, well, pushing buttons. Aside from album opener "Galvanize," a mind-bending Middle Eastern loop featuring Q-Tip that stuns with its sheer force, most of these tunes go backward rather than forward. At times the Chems channel the Stone Roses ("Marvo Ging") with a psychedelic twist; on "The Big Jump," Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is decoded robot-style. But overall, though Push the Button retains its creators' danceability, that extra Chemical genius is sounding decidedly digital.
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Lily Moayeri