sorted magazine - issue 3

| features
| albums
| concerts
| singles
| what's on
| back issues
| about sorted
| contact us
| links |
Prodigy - Fat of the Land (X-L RECORDINGS) [image: album cover]
The first and most important thing to point out about this album is that it contains both "Firestarter" and "Breathe". If you bought both of these singles, it probably is not worth your while buying the album, as they are by far the best things on it. However, apart from two of the best singles of the year, this is what else is on it:

The album starts off with "Smack My Bitch Up." This is presumably some kind of attempt at irony, but there is none in evidence in the two lines "Change my picture, Smack my bitch up", musically it's a hodge-podge of style like something from "..Jilted Generation" with more guitars and some Asian vocals like the Sisters of Mercy's "Temple of Love".

The rest of it is similar, a cross between the band's earlier stuff and industrial techno. They've beefed up the drum beats, toughened the vocals and added a lot more distorted guitars. It is a bad sign for the Prodigy when the stand out new track is "Narayan", which features the vocals of Crispin Mills (why?). It is even worse when the track sounds more like a Prodigy remix of Kula Shaker than one of their own tracks.

All through the album there are bits that seem recognisable, a Nine Inch Nails bit here, a Ministry bit there. The band seem to have decided to become industrial without coming up with any new ideas. The last track, a cover of L7's "Fuel My Fire", sounds too much like the Butthole Surfers for its own good. However, when the band try going back to straight dance music, as on the trancey "Climbatize", it just sounds boring.

It is a pity, the energy and promise of "Breathe" and "Firestarter" were all that the Prodigy really have to offer, after that there's really nothing else.

by Donnacha DeLong