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Album Cover LeftField - Rhythm and Stealth (Epic)

For the band who claim that music is "like a drug", it is a pity that Leftfield seem to have become addicted to this particular sound and in many ways have merely produced a collection of tracks that could have been the B-Sides for their last long-player "Leftism". I think the disappointment is compounded by the fact that it took them four years since their last album to actually produce this piece of bum fluff. For those of you who haven't heard "Leftism" yet, I advise you to do so now. Four years ago it was the perfect chill-out album with sounds like 'Open Up' and '21st Century Poem' the listener was manipulated between fast and slow with the effortless ease that only true masters could accomplish.

Now, (I'll say it again) four years on, the sounds are the same, but the spirit is not, and I fear this album sounds anything but original. In fact, tracks 2 ('phat planet') and 9 ('6/8') sound so much like Lionrock, AKA Justin Robertson's 1996 album "An Appetite for Detection" as to make me wonder what kind of short-term memory Leftfield think their fans have. On the whole this is lazy and disappointing. A pity, although some of the more melodic tracks did demonstrate some residue of inspiration.

by John Moylan.